What is the definition of a bullpen in baseball?
1. The bullpen is the area where pitchers warm up before entering a game. This area tends to be off the field, usually behind the wall along the first baseline or third baseline or somewhere behind the outfield wall. On high school and college fields, the bullpen may be located in foul territory along the first base and third baselines.
The bullpen is where the relief pitchers stay during a game so that when they are called upon, they can quickly warm up and be ready to enter the game. In some cases, the term “bullpen” is used to describe a team’s group of relief pitchers.
What’s the bullpen in baseball for?
The bullpen in baseball provides pitchers with a place to warm up their arm with practice pitches. Relief pitchers throw pitches in the bullpen before being called into the game.
Each team gets a designated bullpen area. Most bullpens have two pitching rubbers and plates which are separated by the same regulation distance used on the field, which is 60 feet 6 inches in Major League Baseball (MLB).
A team’s relief pitchers will often remain in the bullpen throughout the game rather than sitting in the dugout. The team’s pitching coaches also remain in the bullpen. Depending on a ballpark’s setup, the coaches in the dugout may communicate with the coaches in the bullpen using an in-house telephone.
What types of relief pitchers are in the bullpen?
Most baseball teams have the following types of relief pitchers in their bullpen:
- Long reliever: A long reliever can be counted on to pitch three or more innings if the starter needs to be pulled from the game earlier than expected or if the game is headed into extra innings.
- Middle reliever: Middle relievers typically only pitch one or two innings at a time.
- Setup man: A setup man typically comes into the game around the 7th or 8th inning and helps to maintain the lead or tie before the closer comes in.
- Closer: A closer usually enters the game in the 9th inning when a team has a lead of three runs or less.
- Left Handed One Out Guy (LOOGY): The LOOGY is a relief pitcher who specializes in facing off against left-handed batters.
How often do bullpen pitchers play?
Some relief pitchers in the bullpen are brought into the game on a more frequent basis, while others play very rarely. The frequency of play for relief pitchers depends on how deep the team’s pitching roster is and what types of circumstances they face in each game.
Reasons for bringing in a relief pitcher include:
- Poor performance: A pitcher may be replaced in the game if they fail to throw high-quality pitches and allow the opposing team to gain the lead.
- High pitch count: If a starting pitcher throws a high number of pitches in one game, the coaches may decide to replace them with a relief pitcher in order to avoid causing fatigue or injury.
- Pitcher injury: If a pitcher is injured during the game, a relief pitcher is called in to replace them.
- Closing the game: A relief pitcher with a fresh arm may be brought in to throw high-speed pitches to secure a win at the end of the game.
Does the bullpen include starters?
The starting pitcher usually does their final warmup in the bullpen just before the game begins. However, when a team’s “bullpen” is referenced, this includes only the relievers, not the starters.
Can bullpen catchers play?
Bullpen catchers do not play in games. The catchers in the bullpen aren’t on the team’s roster as players. Instead, they are technically members of the coaching staff.
Some former professional catchers have gone on to become bullpen catchers, which can serve as a stepping stone toward a career in coaching.
How do MLB bullpens work?
In the MLB, starting pitchers may finish their warm up before a game in the bullpen. During the game, relief pitchers can warm up as needed before entering the game.
According to MLB rules, if a coach signals or motions to the bullpen, it counts as an official substitution for the new pitcher.
How many pitchers are in a bullpen?
MLB teams are limited to maximum of 13 pitchers on the roster. That limit is increased to 14 pitchers from September 1 through the end of the regular season.
Starting pitchers, however, aren’t considered to be part of the bullpen. Many teams have seven or eight relief pitchers in their bullpen.
Can pitchers go to bullpen in between innings?
Pitchers are permitted to go to the bullpen between innings. However, many choose not do so to avoid becoming fatigued by throwing unnecessary pitches. Usually, pitchers who are already playing in the game use the time allotted between innings to throw a few warmup pitches from the mound.
What is a bullpen cart?
Bullpen carts are small vehicles used to bring relief pitchers to the field from the bullpen. Many are modified golf carts featuring themed designs customized with the team’s colors and logo. These vehicles are also known as bullpen cars and bullpen buggies.
Although they were quite commonplace in professional baseball in the 1970s, bullpen carts weren’t used as frequently in subsequent decades. However, a few teams have used bullpen carts for their relief pitchers in recent years, including the Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals.
What does it mean to throw a bullpen?
To throw a bullpen means for a pitcher to throw in the bullpen, in a simulated game manner, such as off of the mound. Some bullpen sessions may last longer than others, but the intent is to keep the pitcher sharp and their arms loose. It’s in the bullpen that the pitcher is able to fine-tune their mechanics and practice their different pitches while throwing off a mound and away from any distractions that would be on a field.
What is a bullpen day?
A bullpen day, sometimes called a bullpen game, refers to a game in which a team chooses to start their relief pitcher instead of the normal starting pitcher.
In most bullpen games, the relief pitcher pitches for the first two to three innings. Then, the normal starting pitcher is brought in to pitch the remainder of the game. In some instances, teams will even have several relievers pitch for an inning or two before closing out the game with their normal starter.
This strategy keeps the opposing team’s batters from getting comfortable with one pitcher. It also allows the team to avoid running their starter down in the earlier innings of the game and having to close out with a relief pitcher.
A bullpen game is different from a spot start in that each reliever only pitches for a brief period. In a spot start, a relief pitcher is expected to play like a starting pitcher by pitching for the majority of the game.
What pitcher gets the win in a bullpen game?
The official score keeper decides which of the relief pitchers in a bullpen game is credited with the win.
In a bullpen game, the win is typically attributed to the relief pitcher who pitched prior to the half-inning when their team took the lead that they held onto for the remainder of the game. The score keeper could also decide to give it to the relief pitcher that they deemed to be most effective in helping their team secure the win.
Why is it called a bullpen in baseball?
The origin of the term “bullpen” is unclear. The first official use of the term in baseball is thought to be a 1915 article in Baseball Magazine, although that article doesn’t explain why the relief pitcher’s area was called that.
One commonly cited idea is that the same area now typically reserved for relief pitchers to warm up was originally designated for fans. Cheaper tickets were available for this area of the ballpark, but fans had to stand in the roped-off section, similar to cattle in a field.
Some think that this standing area for fans was called the bullpen because it was often located near a Bull Durham Tobacco advertisement, which many ballparks at the time had. As the area was transitioned to a place for pitchers to warm up, the same term was applied even after the Bull Durham ads were no longer present.
Others believe the term has origins in comparing pitchers to bulls themselves. Some saw the pen as holding the pitchers before being sent off to the slaughter, while others saw it more as a bucking bull about to be released from its pen in a rodeo.
Other bullpen meanings
The idea of a “bullpen” is used in a number of industries and situations. For example, its aggressive tone has been associated with venture capital firms, and its connection to baseball has made it a popular sports bar name.
Two notable colloquial uses of “bullpen” can be found in connection with jails and office environments.
What does bullpen mean in jail?
The bullpen in a jail is a locked area that serves as a temporary holding area for prisoners until they are brought into court.
What is the bullpen in an office?
The open work area of an office where co-workers are not confined to individual offices is sometimes referred to as the “bullpen.”
Examples of how bullpen is used in commentary
1. With one out and a runner on second base, there seems to be some activity in the New York Yankees’ bullpen. Boone wants to make sure he has a pitcher ready in case this critical World Series inning takes a turn for the worse.
2. Kapler calls up the San Francisco Giants’ bullpen to bring in their LOOGY to face off against the San Diego Padres’ best lefty batter.
Sports the term is used
Also known as:
1. The pen