Did you know? Catcher’s Interference. I DIDN’T!!!

Me! (not really - I'm way better looking)

Me! (not really – I’m way better looking)

I wrote a short post on catcher’s interference (CI) some time ago, to educate people that reaching on CI does not impact your on base percentage (OBP).

Unfortuantely, it has come to my attention (through an outstanding Sabermetrics course that I’m taking online) that in that post, my explanation of how to score it was… WRONG!  (sorry!)  No way to sugarcoat it, I’ve always been doing it incorreclty. I use my own spreadsheet system that takes the scoring from a game and compiles all individual and team stats and I goofed on this one. *

It is true that Catcher’s Interference does not impact your on base percentage.  However, it DOES count as a plate appearance (PA). I always assumed that the formula for OBP was times on base (H+BB+HBP)  ÷ plate appearances.  So, if reaching on CI did not help nor hurt your OBP, then I assumed it did not count as a plate appearance.  Alas, it does.  The CORRECT formula for OBP is actually: (H+BB+HBP) ÷ (AB+BB+HBP+SF).  If a batter reaches on CI, it is counted as a PA, but the result of that appearance does not appear in any formula.

By the way, I still believe that intuitively it should be counted as a stat the same as a walk or hit by pitch. The counter argument is that you don’t know what would have happened without the CI. He may have been out anyways, so you don’t want to credit the batter for something he didn’t “earn”.  But I think this counter argument can be used for HBP as well. Batters aren’t (usually) trying to earn getting on base by being beaned, but I digress.

* Note: Today there are several scoring apps available, so individuals don’t really need to know the rules that well, just mark it as a CI and the app will take care of calculating all the stats for you. Some of the best ones includes iScore as well as several others.


About Ruben Lipszyc

I write about baseball. I'm a member of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Blogger's Alliance, and I write about my Red Sox and keep Albertans up to date on local baseball happenings at RubensBaseball.blogspot.com. I occasionally also write articles for the Canadian Baseball Network at www.CanadianBaseballNetwork.com.

Posted on June 19, 2014, in Did you know? and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. bases loaded, batter reaches by CI, runner from 3rd scores, does the batter get credit for an RBI???

    • Absolutlely. Same as a bases loaded walk. The RBI rule (10.04) reads: A run batted in is a statistic credited to a batter whose action at bat causes one or more runs to score,…(2) by reason of the batter becoming a runner with the bases full (because of a base on balls, an award of first base for being touched by a pitched ball or for interference or obstruction)

  2. does the pitcher get charged with an earn run if the batter eventually scores.

    • It depends, but the short answer is yes. The earned run rule says … “In determining earned runs, the official scorer shall reconstruct the inning without the errors (which exclude catcher’s interference)”. So if a runner gets on base through CI and subsequently scores that run is earned. However, if he scores due to a subsequent error then it may not be. (Basically the same as if he got on base through a hit)

  1. Pingback: Did you know? Catcher’s Interference | Baseball Scoring Rules

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