In baseball, a player can replaced by any other player who hasn't yet appeared in the game. Can this replacement be made after a player has started batting and is still at the plate?

  • Would the same rule apply if the batter was ejected by the umpire during the AB?
    – user6392
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 23:20
  • Yes, that would be treated the same as any other replacement.
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 16:16

2 Answers 2


Absolutely. From the 2018 MLB 0fficial Rules:

Rule 5.10(b):

A player, or players, may be substituted during a game at any time the ball is dead.

Rule 9.15(b):

When a batter leaves the game with two strikes against him, and the substitute batter completes a strikeout, the official scorer shall charge the strikeout and the time at bat to the first batter. If the substitute batter completes the turn at bat in any other manner, including a base on balls, the official scorer shall score the action as having been that of the substitute batter.

  • Even if the pitcher is tossed for cheating (e.g. putting a substance on the ball)? I would have guessed that it would be a balk because non of the pitches were fair. I'm not arguing your answer I'm just surprised because it seems like a very unjust rule if defense gets to keep its ill gotten gains.
    – shrewmouse
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 17:22
  • @shrewmouse Are you referring to a deleted comment?
    – chepner
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 15:33

Basically, any player, offense or defense, can be substituted for another, when the ball is not "in play."

The basic reason is injury. Suppose (and this would be a freak accident), a batter was hurt while hitting a foul ball. The manager might want to use a pinch hitter, rather than having the hurt batter continue to bat and run.

The new batter would inherit the ball-strike count of the old batter. As mentioned in another post, the new batter would be credited with the ultimate result EXCEPT when the original batter had accrued two of the three strikes in what ultimately becomes a strikeout.

  • 2
    "Suppose (and this would be a freak accident), a batter was hurt while hitting a foul ball." Freak accident? Rare admittedly, but I've seen it happen.
    – GreenMatt
    Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 20:50

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