Putouts and Assists
A putout (PO) is credited to a fielder who gets an offensive player out as described in scoring rule 10.09. An assist (A) is credited to fielders who contribute to an offensive player being out as per scoring rule 10.10.
Credit a putout to a fielder who gets a batter or runner out. Typical occurrences of this include catching a fly ball, tagging a base the runner is forced to, or tagging a runner off a base. Additionally, a catcher gets credit for a putout on a strikeout.(*)
Additionally there are several circumstances of automatic outs. The following are all credited to the catcher:
- bunting foul for 3rd strike
- illegally batted ball (e.g., using an illegal bat or foot out of batter’s box)
- batter touched by batted ball
- interfering with catcher
- batting out of turn
The following automatic outs are credited to the appropriate fielder as follows
- infield fly not caught – fielder who should have made the catch
- runner out for being hit by a batted ball – fielder closest to ball
- runner out for running out of base line to avoid a tag – fielder whom the runner avoided
- runner out for passing another runner – fielder closest to the runner being passed
- runner out for interference – fielder who was interfered
- Note: if fielder was throwing ball, then credit fielder with an assist and give the putout to whoever he was throwing ball to
- batter is out due to runner interference (i.e., automatic double play), give putout to 1st baseman
To summarize all of these, it’s basically the fielder that was closest to the runner or ball that gets credit for the out.
(*) Give the catcher the putout as long as he catches it, or if the batter is automatically out. If it’s dropped and the ball is thrown to first base, then the catcher gets the assist and the first baseman (or whoever makes the out) gets the putout.
Credit an assist to each fielder who contributed to getting a batter or runner out. Typically this is when a fielder throws the ball to another fielder who gets credit for the putout as defined above.
There are some specific points and exceptions to note:
- a fielder gets an assist even if no out is recorded due to an error (e.g., a shortstop throws to the first baseman in plenty of time, and he drops the ball. SS gets the A, the first baseman gets the E, and no hit to the batter).
- credit an assist if the ball is deflected off a fielder and there is a subsequent putout. (e.g., a line drive glances off the pitcher to the 3rd baseman who throws to 1st for the out. Both pitcher and 3B get an assist).
- if a fielder throws the ball multiple times in a run-down play, he can only be credited with a single assist
- pitchers do not get assists on strikeouts, or on caught stealings
- no assist is recorded for a fielder who makes a wild throw, and as a runner tries to advance further is put out. (e.g., a catcher throws the ball into centerfield to attempt to get a runner going to 2nd. If the runner tries to advance to 3rd and is thrown out by the outfielder, the catcher does not get an assist)