At times during a baseball game, a substitution may be required. A batter may be replaced by a pitcher or a runner may be replaced by a fielder. A fielder may be replaced by another fielder. All of these situations are called “substitutions.” A “double switch” is a substitution in which a fielder and a pitcher switch spots.
What is a Double Switch in Baseball?
A double switch occurs when the manager needs to switch out an injured player with some other player that is not injured to try to get a DH spot or to keep the opposing team from sitting an injured player for a key player. Double switches occur when there is a close game between two or more teams and a DH is not available. The manager might decide to make a double switch to make sure there are no more DH spots available and to keep opposing teams from sitting injured players.
For the Double Switch to occur, the manager has to go over to the home plate umpire to switch their lineup cards. Once the umpire knows about the Double Switch, the manager can make the Double Switch official by making their lineup changes. From there, the home plate umpire alerts the other team of the change in the batting order.
What is an Example of a Baseball Double Switch?
When the Yankees were on the field for the top of the eighth inning, the Mets pitcher struck out the first batter he faced, and since the 7th batter is the next batter, the Mets are about to have a new pitcher come in to pitch. The Yankees then ask the Mets to allow them to immediately go to their next hitter. They say that the new pitcher is not the starting pitcher for the Yankees, but just a “replacement” that they are using.
Can you Double Switch a DH (Designated Hitter)?
A DH is an abbreviation for a designated hitter. A designated hitter is a hitter who hits for one team, usually the National League team. Because there are only nine hitters on the field, the designated hitter doesn’t play during an inning or two of a game, but rather hits for a batter before each inning is pitched. In the AL, the DH position is usually occupied by a first baseman, although this has not always been the case.
How is a Double Switch Different from a Traditional Substitution?
The fundamental difference between a double switch and a regular substitution pertains to the fact that a double switch will move the batting lineup around so that there are two players at each position while regular substitution will only move out a player. A regular substitution can’t remove the DH spot and a double switch can’t move the position around.
What Makes the Double Switch Difficult for Managers to Implement?
A Manager may call for a Double Switch if he believes he can increase the likelihood of a run scoring if he removes the pitcher from the defensive alignment. But a Double Switch can leave a manager with many problems and can cause him to look weak if he does not call it correctly. Managers prefer to choose the right strategy to avoid a Double-Switching penalty.
Not so much a risk to your bench, but more about your starting rotation. Imagine you have two starting pitchers with double digit wins to their credit. The first is having a rough season, but the second is having a great one. The best case scenario is the second pitcher continues his success, and the first one struggles while you are in the double-switch situation.
The typical strategy of the National League team in a National League park is to have all their pitchers face the American League team, but have their hitters face the National League team. In interleague play, the National League team would typically face the American League team in the National League park, which has the advantage of the pitcher getting used to the hitter before the series moves to the National League park.
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