May 30, 2008
Entry #: 2771095
|Rule 7.14 states that “[o]nce each inning, a team may utilize a player who is not in the batting order as a special pinch runner for any offensive player. A player may only be removed for a pinch runner one time during a game. The player for whom the pinch-runner runs is not subject to removal from the lineup. If the pinch runner remains in the game as a substitute defensive or offensive player, that player may not be used again as a special pinch-runner while in the batting order. However, if removed for another substitute that player, or any other player not in the lineup, is again eligible to be used as a special pinch-runner. NOTE: Does not apply if local league adopts the continuous batting order. See Rule 4.04.”|
If a league is using the continuous batting order, which allows all players to bat regardless of who is in the field, this rule does not apply because all players are in the batting lineup. Thus, because a special pinch-runner has to be a player not currently in the lineup, there are no players eligible to be a special pinch-runner.
If a league is not using the continuous batting order, then, once per inning, the team may remove a player from a base and put a player who is not currently in the batting lineup on that base to run in his place. This is true even if the player being used as the special pinch-runner was just removed from the lineup.
In second inning, Robert enters the game for Bill as a pinch-hitter. Robert gets a hit. Because Robert is very slow, the manager wants to use Bill as a special pinch-runner even though Robert has not completed his mandatory play. This is legal. Bill is currently not in the lineup and Robert is not being removed from the game.
Any player not currently in the batting lineup may be used as a special pinch-runner and any player may be used as often as the coach allows. However, a baserunner may only be removed for a special pinch-runner only once per game. So, if a team has a particularly fast player on its bench, that player may be a special pinch runner once in each inning he is not in the lineup. However, if a team has a particularly slow runner, he can only be removed for a special pinch-runner only once per game. This is not a substitution and does not count towards the mandatory play rule.
This should not be confused with a substitution entering the game for a runner. At any time, a substitute may be made for a runner, provided all mandatory play rules have been abided by. If a substitution is made, the starter may not return to the lineup until the substitute runner has completed his mandatory play.
If you have any questions about the special pinch-runner, or any other rule, please send your questions to me at:
Indiana D5 UIC