Can a batter request a new bat during his at bat if not obviously broken?

In the MLB, can a batter request a new bat if he thinks it’s cracked? I don’t mean an obvious break that anyone can see. But if he taps the bat and feels a strange vibration indicating a crack, can he request a new bat?

Yes. It’s not like there’s any reason to question his judgment, barring unnecessary delay of game. Pretty sure I’ve seen batters get a replacement.

Since this is about baseball rules, let’s move it to the Game Room.

General Questions Moderator

Thanks Colibri. Wasn’t sure where to go with this.

I asked because I can’t remember ever seeing a batter request a new bat except in cases where it shatters or the like. I’ve never seen one request a new bat because he felt it was damaged. I ask because during a game tonight the batter kept tapping the bat on the ground. I assume it was to see if it was cracked. Anyone who’s had a cracked wooden bat and tapped it on anything can just feel it’s cracked. Would the same rule apply if a batter didn’t “feel” like the bat was “right”?

I’ve certainly seen batters replace bats that aren’t obviously broken – I assume they were cracked.

There is no rule one way or the other meaning it would be an umpire’s judgement call. I’m sure if the batter said, “I need a new bat.” the umpire wouldn’t even question him. He’d head for the dugout and the bat boy would run out with a new one for him an meet him likely. If he did it several times the umpire might stop him. But I’d think if he got the new bat and said, “No not this one.” he’d likely get a third without raising an eyebrow.

Not necessarily. It was probably a delaying tactic intended to increase the time between pitches. Studies have shown that batters are more likely to be struck out if pitches come swiftly, with little delay between them. A longer delay between pitches seems to give the batter time to psychologically adjust from the last pitch and consider what kind of pitch will come next. So batters try to cause a delay between pitches. But stretch that too long and the umpire will see it as ‘delay of game’.

Tapping it randomly on the ground or on the plate?
A bat size you’ve been swinging with for the last 10 years or more is a great tool to make sure your standing in the same spot relative to the plate every at bat.

Dig in, tap the far side, tap the near side, feels good? OK, ready.

Probably utterly unrelated, but in cricket batsmen often engage in “gardening” - they wander down the pitch between deliveries and prod the prod with their bats. The effect is probably psychological more than anything else or, as mentioned upthread, a delaying tactic.