The delivery from the windup position is typically used when no runners are on base or when there is no threat of a stolen base. It is a slow and deliberate movement that is considered by many coaches to allow the pitcher the maximum power in delivering a pitch to the plate. For the windup position to be legal several things must occur:
- Both feet must be on the ground
- His pivot foot must be on the rubber and the other foot free
- He shall stand facing the batter
- He shall hold the ball with both hands in front of his body
Once the pitcher assumes the windup position, he may not separate his hands except to:
- Deliver the ball to the batter
- Step and throw to an occupied base to attempt to pick off a runner or throw to a base a runner is trying to steal
- Disengage the rubber by stepping backward off of the pitching rubber with his pivot foot
From a full windup position, a pitcher can step and throw to an occupied base.
Windup Position: [Umpire Interpretation 21]
Some of the new side straddle windups are confusing umpires. This Insider Report details one such instance during a Padres/Rockies’s game with Rockies’ pitcher, Chris Rusin on the mound. No one could agree whether he was pitching from the full windup or the stretch. What do you think?
Pitcher properly steps off the rubber with his pivot foot first.
- When disengaging the rubber, the pitcher must separate his throwing hand from his glove hand
- If the pitcher separates his hands for other than these reasons, it is considered a balk.
- When the pitcher starts his motion from the windup he may step back or forward one step with his free foot. He may lift his leg around the pivot foot and be parallel with the pitching rubber to better push off the rubber as he pitches the ball to the catcher.