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In baseball, a position player is a player who on defense plays as an infielder, outfielder, or catcher. In Major League Baseball (since 1973 in the American League and since 2022 in the National League),there is also a designated hitter, who bats but does not play any defensive positions (and is therefore not a position player). Position players are eligible to pitch, and a manager will use a position player as a relief pitcher on rare occasions. This typically happens if a game is a blowout, if no other pitchers are available, or if the game has gone well into extra innings. Although a position player may be eligible to pitch, the pitcher is not considered a position player.
In ice hockey, "position player" refers to all non-goaltender players (forwards and defencemen), although "skater" is the more common term.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each, taking turns batting and fielding. The game is in play when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball that a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objective of the offensive team is to hit the ball into the field of play, away from the other team's players, allowing its players to run the bases, having them advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual professional baseball game sanctioned by Major League Baseball (MLB) and contested between the all-stars from the American League (AL) and National League (NL). Starting fielders are selected by fans, pitchers are selected by managers, and reserves are selected by players and managers.
In baseball, a save is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under certain prescribed circumstances. Most commonly a pitcher earns a save by entering in the ninth inning of a game in which his team is winning by three or fewer runs and finishing the game by pitching one inning without losing the lead. The number of saves or percentage of save opportunities successfully converted are oft-cited statistics of relief pitchers, particularly those in the closer role. The save statistic was created by journalist Jerome Holtzman in 1959 to "measure the effectiveness of relief pitchers" and was adopted as an official MLB statistic in 1969. The save has been retroactively measured for pitchers before that date. Mariano Rivera is MLB's all-time leader in regular-season saves with 652, while Francisco Rodríguez earned the most saves in a single season with 62 in 2008.
The designated hitter (DH) is a baseball player who bats in place of another position player, most commonly the pitcher. The position is authorized by Major League Baseball Rule 5.11. It was adopted by the American League in 1973 and later by the National League in 2022, making it universal in MLB. Within that time frame, nearly all amateur, collegiate, and professional leagues have adopted the rule or some variant with the notable exception of Nippon Professional Baseball's Central League.
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws ("pitches") the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1. The pitcher is often considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, and as such is situated at the right end of the defensive spectrum. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, and the closer.
Randall David Johnson, nicknamed "The Big Unit", is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (1988–2009) for six teams, primarily the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks.
In baseball and softball, a relief pitcher or reliever is a pitcher who enters the game after the starting pitcher is removed due to fatigue, ineffectiveness, injury, ejection, or for other strategic reasons, such as inclement weather delays or pinch hitter substitutions. Relief pitchers are further divided informally into various roles, such as closers, setup men, middle relief pitchers, left/right-handed specialists, and long relievers. Whereas starting pitchers usually rest several days before pitching in a game again due to the number of pitches thrown, relief pitchers are expected to be more flexible and typically pitch in more games with a shorter time period between pitching appearances but with fewer innings pitched per appearance. A team's staff of relievers is normally referred to metonymically as a team's bullpen, which refers to the area where the relievers sit during games, and where they warm-up prior to entering the game.
In baseball, the double switch is a type of player substitution, usually performed by a team while playing defense. The double switch is typically used to make a pitching substitution, while simultaneously placing the incoming pitcher in a more favorable spot in the batting order than was occupied by the outgoing pitcher. To perform a double switch, the ball must be dead.
Theodore Amar Lyons was an American professional baseball starting pitcher, manager and coach in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in 21 MLB seasons, all with the Chicago White Sox. He is the franchise leader in wins. Lyons won 20 or more games three times and became a fan favorite in Chicago.
In baseball, a pitcher can commit a number of illegal motions or actions that constitute a balk. Most of these violations involve pitchers pretending to pitch when they have no intention of doing so. In games played under the Official Baseball Rules that govern professional play in the United States and Canada, a balk results in a dead ball or delayed dead ball. In certain other circumstances, a balk may be wholly or partially disregarded. Under other rule sets, notably in the United States under the National Federation of State High School Associations, a balk results in an immediate dead ball. In the event a balk is enforced, the pitch is generally nullified, each runner is awarded one base, and the batter (generally) remains at bat, and with the previous count. The balk rule in Major League Baseball was introduced in 1898.
The World Baseball Classic (WBC) is an international baseball tournament sanctioned from 2006 to 2013 by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and after 2013 by World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) in partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB). It was proposed to the IBAF by Major League Baseball (MLB), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), and other professional baseball leagues and their players associations around the world. It is one of the two main senior baseball tournaments sanctioned by the WBSC, but the only one which grants to the winner the title of "World Champion".
A hold is awarded to a relief pitcher who meets the following three conditions:
A Major League Baseball roster is a list of players who are allowed, by league agreement, to play for a Major League Baseball (MLB) team. Each MLB team maintains two rosters: an active roster of players eligible to participate in an MLB game, and an expanded roster encompassing the active roster plus additional reserve players.
In Major League Baseball, a shutout refers to the act by which a single pitcher pitches a complete game and does not allow the opposing team to score a run. If two or more pitchers combine to complete this act, no pitcher is awarded a shutout, although the team itself can be said to have "shut out" the opposing team.
Shohei Ohtani, nicknamed "Shotime", is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher, designated hitter and outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball's (NPB) Pacific League.
In sports that require a player to play on offense and defense, a two-way player refers to a player who excels at both. In sports where a player typically specializes on offense or defense, or on pitching or batting, it refers to a player who chooses to do both.
The 2022 Major League Baseball season was originally scheduled to begin March 31 and end on October 2. The 2021–22 MLB lockout caused the season to be delayed by one week, starting on April 7. The regular season is scheduled to end on October 5.
In baseball, position players pitching refers to the act of a position player being used as a pitcher. A position player typically pitches when a game has a lopsided score or when the game has gone so far into extra innings that no other pitchers are available. The term is not used for a two-way player, a baseball player who is skilled at pitching and who plays another position.