Designated Hitter - The Major League Baseball Rule - Forfeiting The Right To A DH

Forfeiting The Right To A DH

In practice, it is very rare for a team to forfeit its right to a DH, even by substitution. The following are known instances in regular season games (not counting interleague play) of an American League pitcher coming to bat:

  • There have been four occasions where a team deliberately elected not to start a designated hitter in an American League ballgame, all between 1974 and 1976. The pitchers for those games were Ferguson Jenkins (1 for 2, a single) on October 2, 1974 for the Texas Rangers at Minnesota, Ken Holtzman (0 for 2) for the Oakland A's against the California Angels on September 27, 1975, Ken Brett for the Chicago White Sox on July 6, 1976 at the Boston Red Sox, and again on September 23, 1976 for Chicago against the Twins. (Brett went 0 for 3 in both games.)
  • Up 10-1 in the 8th inning of a game played on September 3, 1973, the Milwaukee Brewers elected to send DH Bobby Mitchell into left field, thereby forfeiting their right to use a DH. Relief pitcher Eduardo Rodríguez accordingly came to bat in the ninth—and hit an RBI triple, sealing the Brewers' 13-5 win over Cleveland.
  • In a 3-3 tie in the 8th, on a game played on June 12, 1974, the Milwaukee Brewers moved DH Tim Johnson to SS for defensive insurance, giving up their DH in the process. Reliever Tom Murphy then pitched into the 13th inning, hitting a single in his two at-bats. He lost the game, however, in the 13th, as the Kansas City Royals emerged 4-3 victors. Oddly, Murphy picked up the relief effort from Eduardo Rodriguez, the last AL relief pitcher to get a hit in a game.
  • On June 27, 1976, the Detroit Tigers lost their DH in a game at the Boston Red Sox in the first inning when DH Rusty Staub went to right field instead of Alex Johnson. The pitcher, Frank MacCormack, took Johnson's place in the lineup, went 0 for 3, and pitched six innings before being relieved by John Hiller. The Tigers won 4–2 in 11 innings at Boston.
  • In the midst of an 18-8 loss to Kansas City on August 29, 1979, the Milwaukee Brewers made several position changes, willingly losing their DH in the process. Amongst other moves, 3B Sal Bando was moved to pitcher in the 4th inning—he hurled three innings, going to bat in the fifth as a pitcher and popping up. In the 7th, Bando and 2B Jim Gantner switched positions, though while a pitcher Gantner never made it to the plate as a batter. The next inning, Buck Martinez (normally a catcher) entered the game as the Brewers sixth pitcher of the day. As a pitcher, Martinez batted in the 9th, stroking an RBI single. For each of Bando, Gantner and Martinez, all of whom played in over 1,000 ML games, this game was their lone appearance in the majors as a pitcher.
  • In his first of three major league pitching appearances for the Toronto Blue Jays, Bob Bailor, normally a position player, was moved from shortstop to pitcher in the 7th inning in a game on August 4, 1980, replacing Tom Buskey (who had been ejected from the game for throwing at a batter). Simultaneously, Garth Iorg moved from third to shortstop, and Steve Braun was inserted at third, replacing DH Otto Velez in the line-up. This meant that the Jays lost their DH. Bailor finished out the game as a pitcher, and came to bat in the ninth and popped out.
  • On September 26, 1987, Detroit Tigers designated hitter Darrell Evans moved to first base in the bottom of the seventh inning in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, causing pitcher Mike Henneman to be inserted into the first baseman's spot in the batting order. Henneman batted for himself in the ninth, but struck out attempting to bunt. The Blue Jays scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the game 10–9 in the midst of a pennant race, with Henneman taking the loss.
  • The Seattle Mariners' Brian Holman was in the midst of a perfect game bid against Oakland on April 20, 1990, when Pete O'Brien was moved from DH to 1B in the eighth inning. Seattle therefore lost their DH and Holman batted for himself in the ninth, reaching base on an error by the second baseman. Holman subsequently lost his perfect game bid with two out in the bottom of the ninth, when pinch hitter Ken Phelps hit a home run. Holman retired the next batter to end the game, winning 6-1.
  • In the first game in Chicago's New Comiskey Park (April 18, 1991), the Detroit Tigers' designated hitter, Tony Phillips replaced starting shortstop Alan Trammell in the field during a 16–0 Tigers' win, causing starting pitcher Frank Tanana to hit. Tanana struck out swinging to Donn Pall in his only plate appearance of his complete game shutout of the White Sox.
  • Leading 11-1 in the 7th inning of a game played on August 2, 1991, the Texas Rangers made a plethora of defensive changes—including moving DH Geno Petralli to 3B, thereby losing their DH. This allowed reliever Mike Jeffcoat to come to bat in the ninth. Jeffcoat hit an RBI double, and later came around to score the Rangers 15th and final run in a 15-1 pasting of the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • On May 23, 1996, the Boston Red Sox elected to lose their DH in the late innings, sending DH Jose Canseco out to play left field with a 9-4 lead in the 8th. Sox starter Roger Clemens hit for himself in the bottom of the 8th inning, and singled. The Red Sox won the game 11-4.
  • Attempting to hold on to a 6-5 lead on June 9, 1996, the California Angels made some defensive changes in the bottom of the 9th, including moving DH Rex Hudler to 2B. Reliever Troy Percival, however, blew the save and allowed the Cleveland Indians to tie the score, and the game went into extra innings. Percival batted for himself in the 10th and struck out. Later, pitcher Ryan Hancock came into the game, and hit for himself in the 13th. Hancock singled and came around to score the go-ahead run in what turned out to be a 8-6 victory for the Angels.
  • On August 16, 1997, in the 8th inning of a 5-5 tie against the New York Yankees, the Texas Rangers made several defensive changes, including moving DH Ivan Rodriguez to catcher, thereby losing their DH. Texas Rangers reliever John Wetteland consequently batted for himself in the 10th inning—and hit an RBI double in an 8-5 Rangers win.
  • An unusual instance of an American League team forfeiting its right to the DH happened on July 22, 1999 to the Cleveland Indians in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Manny Ramirez, the designated hitter, accidentally went into right field in the top of the 2nd instead of Alex Ramirez, causing some confusion. The Indians lost their DH, Alex Ramirez was out of the lineup, and Charles Nagy was forced to hit in Alex Ramirez's place going 0 for 2. John McDonald later pinch-hit for Nagy in the 6th inning.
  • On August 10, 1999, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays brought in third baseman Wade Boggs to pitch against the Baltimore Orioles in a blowout in favor of Baltimore. Boggs, peculiarly, was put into the DH's place in the lineup at the same time he was being brought into the game to pitch. Pitcher Boggs grounded out in his only at bat.
  • In a game played on July 31, 2000, Boston Red Sox DH Darren Lewis was moved to CF in the 8th inning, and the Red Sox consequently lost their ability to use a DH. Pitcher Hipolito Pichardo batted for himself in the 9th, striking out.
  • In the second game of a doubleheader between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox on July 6, 2007, the Twins initially used their starting catcher, Joe Mauer, as the DH because Mauer had started the first game at catcher. The starting catcher for the second game, Mike Redmond, however, was forced to leave the game in the first inning due to injury after accidentally being struck in the head by the bat of Jim Thome, and Mauer had to take the field as the replacement catcher. Twins starting pitcher Matt Garza thus was forced into the batting order and became the first American League pitcher to bat in a regular-season American League game since Hipolito Pichardo on July 31, 2000. Garza went 0-for-2, but picked up the win in a 12-0 victory over the White Sox.
  • On May 19, 2008, the Minnesota Twins surrendered their DH position in a game vs. the Texas Rangers in Minneapolis. Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire had to use rookie pitcher Bobby Korecky as a hitter in the 11th inning of the game; Korecky had only pitched in five major league games prior to this and had never had a major league at-bat. Nevertheless, Korecky hit the first pitch he saw into right field for a single, becoming the first Twins pitcher to get a hit in an American League game since the implementation of the DH rule. The inning ended with Korecky stranded at 3rd base with the bases loaded. Korecky ended up getting his first major league win in this game as the Twins won 7–6 in 12 innings.
  • On May 17, 2009, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon incorrectly listed both Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria as third basemen in the starting lineup against the Cleveland Indians. Maddon's intent was for Zobrist to play at third and Longoria to be the DH. In the middle of the first inning, Cleveland manager Eric Wedge brought Maddon's error to the umpires' attention, and the Rays were forced to forfeit their DH, remove Longoria from the lineup since Zobrist played the top half of the first inning at third base (Longoria was available as a substitute since he never appeared in the game before that point), and bat starting pitcher Andy Sonnanstine at Longoria's place in the order—third. This was the first time a pitcher was in the initial batting order in a game between two American League teams since Ken Brett in 1976. Sonnanstine went 1 for 3 with an RBI double, and picked up the win in a 7-5 Tampa Bay victory.
  • On June 11, 2011, Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Mike McCoy was moved from second base to pitcher in the top of the ninth, as the Jays were losing a 16-4 rout against the Boston Red Sox. Rather than use bench player at second base, third-baseman Jayson Nix moved to second base and DH Edwin Encarnacion was inserted at third base. McCoy pitched a three-up, three-down ninth, and then batting as a pitcher, grounded out in the bottom of the inning.
  • On July 25, 2011, Minnesota Twins first baseman Michael Cuddyer was moved to pitcher in the bottom of the eighth, as the Twins were losing 20-5 to the Texas Rangers. Cuddyer loaded the bases with one out, but then got Elvis Andrus and David Murphy to fly out. He then came up to bat in the top of the ninth, and reached on a fielding error by pitcher Neftali Feliz that scored Twins center fielder Jason Repko.
  • On May 6, 2012, with the game tied in the 16th inning and with only starters in the bullpen, the Baltimore Orioles elected to use DH Chris Davis as a pitcher against the Boston Red Sox, thus forfeiting their right to a DH. Davis made it through the inning with no runs and the game continued with a tied score into the 17th. At this point, also out of relief pitchers, Boston activated DH Darnell McDonald as pitcher. (McDonald had entered the game in the eighth inning to pinch run for starting DH David Ortiz.) McDonald surrendered three earned runs before the inning ended on a ground out by Davis. As Boston was the home team and trailing, Davis was forced to return to pitch the second half of the 17th inning. Davis allowed no runs before McDonald grounded into a double play, ending the inning and the game. Because the game was tied when both DHs were activated, they were both listed as the pitchers of record; Davis was credited with the win and McDonald with the loss.
  • On August 3, 2012, Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Yan Gomes was moved to the outfield after center fielder Colby Rasmus suffered an injury in the top of the 12th against the Oakland Athletics. With no bench players available, designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion replaced Gomes at first. Toronto relief pitcher Aaron Loup, who eventually picked up the loss, would enter the game in the bottom of the 13th and bat lead off in place of Rasmus two innings later, grounding out to short. Loup's at bat was the first by a Blue Jays pitcher in an American League game in team history.
  • On September 13, 2012, in Baltimore, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon moved DH Evan Longoria to third base as a defensive substitution in the ninth inning of a tied game. After a series of pinch-hitters in the pitcher's spot, relief pitcher Chris Archer eventually came to bat in the fourteenth. Remarkably, this was Archer's second at-bat of the contest; he had entered the game in the 10th inning as a pinch-hitter for injured second baseman Ryan Roberts. Archer struck out both times.

In the following instances, a team forfeited their right to a DH, but due to pinch-hitters or other factors, a pitcher did not actually end up making a plate appearance:

  • On September 5, 1976, New York Yankees starting pitcher Catfish Hunter pinch-hit for second baseman Sandy Alomar, Sr. in top of the 6th inning and stayed in the lineup as the pitcher for the Yankees in the bottom half of the inning. César Tovar, the one-time designated hitter in the game, then took over at second base. (Note: There is now a section of the rule that states that the game pitcher may only pinch-hit for the designated hitter; therefore, this move would have been allowed then, but now it would be prohibited.)
  • During the month of September, 1980, Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver inserted a pitcher into the DH slot but would use a hitting specialist (such as Benny Ayala or Terry Crowley) to pinch-hit when the designated hitter's first turn came up. There was a game on September 17, 1980, during which the Orioles and the Detroit Tigers both used the short-lived strategy. (Note: Due to the loophole of which Earl Weaver took advantage, there was a rule change shortly thereafter that states the DH must come to bat at least once, unless the opposing team changes pitchers.)
  • In the bottom of the 8th on July 15, 1993, the Seattle Mariners' Jeff Nelson was moved from the pitcher position to left field. The strategy allowed Nelson to stay in the game while left-handed pitcher Dennis Powell came in to pitch to Mike Greenwell in a game at Boston. By moving the pitcher into a defensive position, Nelson was put into the designated hitter's spot in the batting order while the new pitcher (Powell) was placed into the left fielder's place in the batting order. (It is very uncommon to see this particular move in an American League ballgame due to the DH.) Powell's turn in the batting order came up in the top of the ninth: Pete O'Brien pinch hit for him. Left fielder Nelson was then moved back to pitcher, and pitched in the bottom of the ninth.
  • On October 1, 2000, the Detroit Tigers willingly surrendered the DH position late in a game against the Minnesota Twins. With the Tigers and Twins out of playoff contention, Tigers manager Phil Garner decided beforehand that utility player Shane Halter would play all nine defensive positions. Halter began the game batting 8th and playing first base. At the start of the 8th inning, Halter moved to pitcher. In a series of corresponding defensive changes, Bobby Higginson moved from DH to left field and the Tigers lost the DH. After Halter walked the only batter he faced (Matt LeCroy), he moved to second base, Brad Ausmus moved from second base to first base, and first basemen Robert Fick moved to pitcher, where he was immediately replaced by relief pitcher Matt Anderson, who would bat ninth. Anderson was replaced by closer Todd Jones for the top of the ninth inning. When Jones' spot in the order came up in the bottom of the ninth, he was pinch hit for by Billy McMillon, who singled. The next hitter, Hal Morris, singled in the game-winning run, scoring Halter. The Tigers, using 15 position players and making use of expanded rosters, won 12–11 on the final game of the season. The Tigers and Twins tied an American League record for total players used with 42.
  • There have been times when a manager may willingly surrender the DH position late in a game. During the 2005 American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, New York had Bernie Williams slated as the designated hitter. Late in the game, manager Joe Torre took Williams out of the DH and put him in center field because of Williams' superior defensive play. Since the Yankees already had the lead, not giving up any more runs was more important to Torre than having a better hitter hit for the pitcher in the game at the time, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Because a double switch was used, it was not necessarily a negative situation to have Rivera bat. Rivera's place in the order would have only come up if the Yankees batted around, which would have inherently meant their lead would have been further increased at that late point in the game anyway, giving more cushion for the Yankees' best relief pitcher to close out the game.
  • On May 28, 2009, Minnesota Twins catcher Mike Redmond was ejected from a game in Minneapolis against the Boston Red Sox after disputing umpire Todd Tichenor's call on a close play at home plate. Because Minnesota's normal starting catcher Joe Mauer was in the game as the DH and no other catcher was available, Minnesota was forced to forfeit the DH position for the remainder of the game. The pitcher was replaced with a pinch hitter both times it came up in Boston's 3–1 victory.
  • On August 19, 2009, Oakland Athletics catcher Landon Powell was pinch-run for by Nomar Garciaparra in a game against the New York Yankees. Garciaparra stayed in the game at first base and designated hitter Kurt Suzuki ended up replacing Powell at catcher. The A's ended up forfeiting their designated hitter because of the switch.
  • On October 19, 2009, in the ALCS Game 3 New York Yankees designated hitter Jerry Hairston replaced left fielder Johnny Damon in the outfield in the 10th inning. This move forfeited their designated hitter and made the pitcher spot come up third in the 11th inning.
  • On September 13, 2010, Tampa Bay Rays catcher Kelly Shoppach was replaced by pinch-runner Desmond Jennings after Shoppach was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the 8th in a tight pitchers duel between the Rays' David Price and the Yankees' CC Sabathia. Dioner Navarro moved from designated hitter to catcher to start the 9th inning, thereby sacrificing Tampa Bay's designated hitter. By the time the DH spot was due up to bat in the 10th inning, pitcher Joaquin Benoit was pinch-hit for by Dan Johnson, who singled to right field.
  • On July 30, 2011, in the 2nd game of a double-header against the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees DH Nick Swisher was switched over to his traditional right field position in the top of the 8th inning, while starting pitcher Ivan Nova was replaced by Luis Ayala. While the Yankees forfeited their right to a DH in the process, the 8th inning ended before Ayala would have come up to bat, and as the Yankees were the home team and leading, the bottom of the 9th inning was not played.
  • On August 15, 2012, in a game against the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers 2nd baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected in the 8th inning for arguing a called strike three. With no one on the bench, designated hitter Michael Young took over at 2nd base, placing pitcher Mike Adams in Kinsler's spot in the batting order. The game ended before that spot in the lineup was reached again.
  • On September 29, 2012, in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees shortstop Eduardo Núñez was removed from the game in the middle of the 6th inning. Regular shortstop, Derek Jeter, who had been the designated hitter, took the field as shortstop in the bottom of the 6th inning. When the DH spot next came up to bat in the 8th inning, Eric Chavez pinch-hit for Joba Chamberlain before Cody Eppley took the mound in the 9th inning.
  • On October 5th, 2012, in the Wild Card Playoff game between the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles, Rangers catcher Geovany Soto was pinch hit for in the 7th inning. In the top of the 8th inning designated hitter Mike Napoli moved to catcher while pitcher Koji Uehara took Soto's place in the batting order. When the pitcher's spot came up in the bottom of the 9th inning Jurickson Profar successfully pinch hit, loading the bases.

Read more about this topic:  Designated Hitter, The Major League Baseball Rule

Famous quotes containing the words forfeiting the:

    Look at your [English] ladies of quality—are they not forever parting with their husbands—forfeiting their reputations—and is their life aught but dissipation? In common genteel life, indeed, you may now and then meet with very fine girls—who have politeness, sense and conversation—but these are few—and then look at your trademen’s daughters—what are they?—poor creatures indeed! all pertness, imitation and folly.
    Frances Burney (1752–1840)