top of page

Glossary - Terminology of the Beautiful Sport 

An A - Z of learning the game 

10 Day Injured List (IL) – When a player has a small injury and is placed on the IL this means a player can be called on the roster to replace them, this can be backdated up to 3 days


60 Day Injured List (IL) – Similar to the 10 day IL but this is for longer term injuries the 60 days can only start from the start of the season and the injury may take more than 60 days to heal


AAV (Annual Average Value) – The amount a player makes per year under the terms of a contract for example if a player earns $100million from a ten year contract the AAV will be $10million a year


ALDS/NLDS (American League Division Series and National League Division Series) Wildcard Series – The top two divisional winners (number of wins wise) automatically get a bye through this round, the 3rd divisional winner and the other three highest ranked teams in terms of wins will play a best of three series to advance to the ALDS/NLDS Divisional Series


ALDS/NLDS Division Series – The two wildcard winners in each division meet the other two divisional winners in a best of five series to reach the ALCS/NLDS Championship series


ALCS/NLCS Championship Series – A best of seven series between the 2 winners of each the ALDS/NLCS division series. The winners of each of these two series are crowned ALCS and NLCS winners respectively and advance to face each other in The World Series


American League – The 15 teams comprising of the 3 divisions of the American League East, American League Central and American League West divisions


Arbitration – This is where a player and organisation will both pitch a salary for the season if this is not agreed it will go to an arbitration, this can only be negotiated with the players current team


At Bat (or Plate Appearance) – Each opportunity a player gets to bat in the game typically a player would receive 4 to 5 of these per games depending on how many times the lineup turns over during a game


Average – The amount in 1000 points the batter makes contact with the ball and puts the ball successfully in play without being out. For example if a player has an average of .284 for every 1000 at bats the player has they will put the ball in play successfully 284 times


Balk – This is where a pitcher makes a motion to pitch a ball and deceive the hitter. This is determined by the umpire as a deliberate attempt to deceive. As a result of a balk any men on base will advance. The ball if pitched is not deemed to be a live ball


Ball (BB) – When a pitch is made that doesn’t go in the strike zone and the hitter does not swing or try to make a play to hit the ball, 4 balls in a plate appearance will advance the hitter to 1st base


Bases Loaded – When a man is on each base and there are still batters left to bat in the innings


Bear Handed – Where the defender (most likely an infielder) attempts to make a play using his hand rather than his catching glove


Bullpen – The collective term for the name of the relief pitchers after the starting pitcher has done all he can in the game, the bullpen is used in most situations to close out a game


Bunt – Where the hitter places 2 hands on the bat one near the handle one near the top to make a small amount of contact to not hit the ball very far normally inside the diamond. This tactic is normally employed to advance a runner already on base as the amount of distance the ball travels is not the aim of the hit


Catcher Framing – When the catcher collects the pitch and tries to frame it into the strikezone, this is a technique used when the ball may be slightly out the strikezone the catcher will make motion to seem like the ball has actually been pitched into the strikezone


Catcher’s Interference – Where a catcher’s mitt stops a player from making clear contact with a ball stopping the player making a shot, this will result in a player moving to 1st base


Challenge – Each team has one challenge per game if they disagree with an umpire’s decision. With will then go to a video review if the team gets the challenge overturned on video evidence they will retain their challenge


Check Swing – Where a hitter has made a motion to swing but not fully completed the motion if the bat has deemed not to have swung past the hitters body and the ball is not in the strikezone this will be judges as a ball


Clean up – A player hitting fourth in the lineup. Cleaning up after the first three top of the orders have bat, cleaning up from in theory the best three hitters on the team


Closer – A player designated to close out the game and pitch most likely the final innings for the team, this would only tend to happen in close games and is a specialist position who can deal in a higher pressure situation


Clutch - being clutch is a player that can handle pressure and delivers in big pressure situations with the team


Complete Game Shut Out – Where a pitcher or combination of hitters has restricted the other team to 0 runs in a game


Cycle – Sometimes called hitting for a cycle this is when in the same game the player manages to get on 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base and a home run at separate at bats in the same game. This is very rare with 3rd base being the most uncommon base to reach in one hit


Designated Hitter – The player that is not playing outfield and his job in the team for that day is to just hit


Disengagement – The Pitcher may disengage twice during a plate appearance this is where they make a movement to step of the mound from their pitching position, this is normally done to attempt to pick off an opposing player on base. If they fail after two disengagement and don’t pick off the player this will result in a balk


Double – When a player hits the ball and gets to 2nd base


Double Play – Where the defending team get 2 players out in one hitting sequence


Earned Runs Against (ERA) – How many runs a pitcher concedes per 9 innings pitched as an average, this does not include errors made in the field leading to runs


Error – This is when a fielding player makes either an error throwing or claiming the ball that means the hitting player either advances or scores when they would not if the players had not made the error. This will not be included as a hit for the players average


Exit Run Velocity – The speed in which the ball leaves the bat on a hit this is measured in mph


Fielders Choice – Where a defending player can choose which player they get out normally the player who is furthest round the diamond


FIP (Fielder Independent Pitching) – These are the stats the pitcher is responsible for like the hits and homeruns but does not account for anything the pitcher can’t control like runs due to errors in the field


Flyball – This is where the batter puts the ball in play after hitting the ball in the air this would normally be when the ball is hit deep into the outfield


Flyout – This is where the ball is out after being hit high and caught out in fair territory


Foul Ball – When a player hits a ball into foul territory


Foul Out – When a player fouls a ball out of play this will result in a strike unless the hitter is on his final strike where he must be caught struck out or be out in play


Games Behind (GB) – How many games the team behind would need to win to catch up with the leader of their division


Ghost Runner on 2nd – When a game is tied after 9 innings each the game will go into extra innings as there must be a winner, when this happens from the 10th innings and onwards the hitting team will start with the previous batsmen on 2nd base in an effort to make a result be achieved more quickly


Grand slam – When a player hits a home run while he has teammates standing on all three bases leading to 4 runs for the team


Greenlight – When there are 2 outs in the innings and the final batter is down to his last strike the players have the greenlight to run on contact as an out will end the innings anyway


Groundball – When a player hits the ball along the ground but is in player for the runner to advance


Groundout – When a player is out on a groundball play


Ground into Double Play (GIDP) – This is where a player hits a ground ball forcing 2 outs in the same play normally when the player from first runs to second and both players are out by getting the ball at both 2nd and 1st base before the runners reach


Heart of the Order – The hitting combination of the third, fourth and fifth hitters the upper middle part linking the top to the bottom of the line up, named as this is normally the combination placed together to score and drive in the runs


Hit By Pitch (HBP) – This is when a batter has been hit by a pitch thrown towards him by the pitcher, this will result in an automatic walk. If the bases are loaded this will score a run if there is no place to put the batter


Homerun – When a player knocked a fair ball out of the baseball field of play


Homerun in a certain number of Ballparks – As every stadium in baseball has different dimensions when a homerun is scored it is possible that the same shot in a different ballpark may not have resulted in a homerun. When for example it is said “This would have been a run in 2 ballparks” this means in 28 stadiums the ball would have stayed in play


Immaculate Innings – When a pitcher strikes a team’s 3 players of that innings out in the minimum number of 9 pitches


Inside the Park Homerun – This is where the player is able to run all 4 bases in one hit but the ball does not actually leave the area of play and is still live for the duration of the running of the bases


Intentional Walk – When the team opts not to face that hitter and he automatically moves to 1st, this would normally be done on a final out when no one is on base and the team feels the next hitter will be an easier out to get


Line Drive – When the ball is hit in play not along the ground and not very high in the air where it is a catchable position but is not out


Lineout – When the player is caught out hitting the ball for a line drive


Looper – When a ball is not hit with proper force as intended maybe coming off the top of the bat and falling between infield and outfield looping into that position


National League – The 15 teams comprising from the 3 divisions of the National League East, National League Central and National League West divisions


No Hitter (or Complete Game No Hitter) – When a pitcher either by himself or with teammates managed to get the whole side out without conceding a hit, players getting on base via walk makes this different to a perfect game


On Base Percentage (OBP) – The average in total a player reaches base via either a hit or a walk percentage is based on in a thousand attempts how many they would reach base (eg. player OBP average is .354 it means if they had 1000 at bats, they would reach base 354 times)


On Deck – The next player up to hit will be on deck while his teammate is in the batters box


OPS (On Base Plus Slugging) – This is a calculation where the on base percentage is added to the slugging percentage to achieve a figure. Anything over .800 is considered really good anything over 1.000 is considered elite


Perfect Game – When a pitcher either by himself or combined with teammates manged to get out a whole team without any player from the opposition reaching base by either a hit or a walk


Pickoff – This is when a player is tagged by the baseman’s glove when trying to steal or get back onto their original base after an unsuccessful attempt to steal a base


Pitch Clock – The number of seconds left for a pitcher to throw a pitch before he receives a pitch violation if he doesn’t make a movement to make his pitch by this point. If he doesn’t do this during the time he will concede a ball


PitchCom – A device located in the pitcher’s baseball cap where he receives a sound signal from the catcher asking him what type of pitch to throw next, this replaced hand signals and makes it a easier way to pitch without tipping a pitch, most pitchers now use this


Pitch Count – The number of pitches a pitcher has thrown, you would be expecting starter on a good start to be looking at an excess on 100 pitches


Pitch Clock – How long a pitcher has to make a pitch which is 15 seconds or 18 seconds when there is at least one man on base


Pitch Clock Violation – When a pitcher takes to long to make a motion to make a pitch, 15 seconds or 18 seconds when there is at least one man on base (this has been reduced from 20 seconds in 2023). This will result in a ball


Playing the Ball off the Wall – This is where the fielder may feel they cant catch the ball directly but they can have an educated guess at which angle the ball will come off the wall and land putting themselves in a position to try throw someone out with a calculated throw


Playoffs – The knock out competition teams qualify to be in at the end of the season the winner of each league ( The American League (AL) and National League (NL) )


Pop Up – Where a ball is hit in the air and proper contact has not been made as the hitter would want and the ball is “popped up” high in the air, this would normally result in being caught out


Rehab Assignment – Where a player is sent to a minor league affiliate to play and ramp up his return in a competitive game after coming back from injury


Responsible for Runners on (from a new pitcher’s perspective this is called inherited runners) – This is when a pitcher is pulled from the game but there are still men on base. If say the next hitter was to hit a double which lets the men on base score the original pitcher would be responsible for the earned runs


Retired Number – This is when a player’s number is retired by the team as a gesture to represent what that player has achieved for the franchise. This number will never be used again by a different player on the team in the future


Run Batted In (RBI) – The number of runs combined that have been scored due to hits by that player for example if a player scores a home run with 2 team mates on base the player would score 3 RBI’s


Runners in Scoring Positions (RISP) – This is when there are men on 2nd or 3rd base when a batter is at the plate it is deemed that these are scoring positions players can score from as long as the batter makes contact and puts the ball in play


Sacrifice Bunt – When the player hits the ball with the sole intention of moving up a base runner on the team, they will sacrifice their bat/out for the good of the team


Sacrifice Fly – Where a player hits a ball in the air with the intention of giving up his out in order to advance a team mate


Save – This is recorded by a pitcher who comes in in the 9th innings with a lead 3 runs or under for his team and successfully defends that lead winning the game for the team in that innings


Sending someone Home – This is when a third base coach will make a circular motion to the runner to continue running home to score a run. This means the baserunner can concentrate on running and does not have to worry about where the ball is


Series – A number of consecutive games a pair of teams will play, normally 3 or 4 when 1 team wins the majority they win the series. This the series is drawn it is called a split


Shortstop – The position infield that plays between 2nd and 3rd base an integral position needed for double plays and to cut off infield hits


Shut Out – When a team scores no runs in a full game


Single – When a player hits the ball and makes it to 1st base


Slugging or Slugging Percentage – This is the equation of how many bases are recorded per hit for example a player who hits mainly home runs would have a higher slugging percentage than a player who’s each hit only records a single, the way to calculate is as follows the following means the following when comes to bases:

Single = 1 base

Double = 2 bases

Triple = 3 bases

Homerun = 4 bases   ........... The total amount when adding up the hits divided by the total number of at bats gives a slugging percentage


Slump – When a player is in a particular bad run of form and is slumping for example he may have 2 hits in 30 plate appearances


Small Ball – When teams play in a way deemed to be how you would play when kids play, for example not hitting for home runs using bunts being clever around the bases, hustling around the bases and hitting inside the diamond singles


Stolen Base – When a player moves between bases when the ball is not in play after a hit this is normally done as the pitcher is preparing to make a pitch, a successful stole base will advance the base runner


Strike – When a player doesn’t hit a ball that is delivered in the strike zone, or he hits a play into foul play territory. A player is out when he receives three strikes but can not be out by a foul ball play strike on his final strike


Strikeout – When the hitter receives 3 strikes before he has either 4 balls or puts the ball in play successfully. The final strike can not be due to a foul


Strike Zone - The zone in which a pitcher must throw in to achieve a strike, an invisible box where it is deemed a player should be able to make a hit from


Swing and Miss – When the player attempts to hit a ball and misses this results in a strike whether or not the ball is pitched in the strike zone or not


Switch Hitter – A player that can bat right or left handed depending on who is pitching. They would normally bat right handed to a left handed pitcher and left handed to a right handed pitcher


Tag – When a baserunner is tagged by a defending players glove before he touches base this could be on a stolen base attempt or just between running round the bases after a hit


Tagging on a Flyout (sometimes just called tagging) – This is when a player attempts to move bases after the hitter on their team has just had a ball caught out. The player must have his foot on his starting base when the ball is caught and only at that point can they attempt to advance. This would normally only be done when a ball has hit deep into the outfield


Taking a Pitch – This is when a hitter is confident the pitch has been pitched outside the strike zone and they will not attempt to hit the ball, this is done when the batsman is very confident around their control of the strike zone


Team Control – When a player is still under the control of the organisation before they either hit free agency or arbitration, this is when the player will be under minimum MLB salary


Timeout – The hitter will get one timeout per plate appearance to compose themselves normally done if they are down in the count


Tipping Pitches – Where a pitcher is without realising communicating what type of pitch they are about to deliver


Thrown out (ejected) – When either a player or manager is thrown out or ejected from the game this is by one of the umpiring crew normally when contesting a decision, they will be removed and not allowed to come back into this game


Triple – When the player hits the ball and gets to 3rd base


Triple Play - Where the defending team get 3 players out in one hitting sequence


Utility Player – A player who can play a multiple of positions, a true utility player is invaluable and can be used to cover rest days and injuries


Walk off - This is when a player records the hit when at a tied game is the winning hit where the losing team can not recover. This would be from a tie game from the team hitting second from the 9th inning onwards


WAR (Wins above Replacement) – This is a determination of how good a player is in all aspects of the game in relation to a player at a similar level


Whiff – This is where a player attempts to swing and hit the ball and makes no contact at all


WHIP (Walks plus hits per innings pitched) – Basically the amount of men that achieve base per innings pitched based on a combination of walks and hit against the pitcher per innings


Wild Pitch – When a pitcher throws a pitch that is so far out the strike zone it goes past the catcher, this would normally result in runners trying to advance their position if there are men on base


Win – Loss (for pitchers) – This is the pitcher who responsible for pitching at the point that the team is winning and does not lose the lead from that position. For a starting pitcher to get the win they need to have pitched at least 5 innings. If multiple pitchers pitch in relief, it can be discretionary as to the pitcher who has done the most to contribute towards this


Win – Loss Record – The amounts of wins and losses in a season wins will always be first if say a team has won 12 and lost 5 so far into the season the win loss record will be 12-5 this is always made into a percentage in the league for this record the percentage would be .706


World Series – The final series of the year pitting the winner of the American League playoffs and the National League playoffs. Winning the World Series means you are the best team in MLB for that year

bottom of page