Each player has a role to fulfill on the field.
Choosing A Pitch
Therefore, it is the pitcher's job to throw strategic pitches that will either result in strikes or the batter making an out. To accomplish this, pitches can have different speeds and movements that make them tricky to hit, and there is a certain method to throw these specialized kinds of pitches. We will learn more about different types of pitches and pitchers in future chapters.
Fielding 1st Base
The pitcher can also act as a fielder if the baseball is in play within his general area like in no man's land. On some plays, he will cover 1st base if the first baseman must leave the base to field a baseball. We will learn more about the 1st baseman later in this chapter.
The pitcher is important because he is the defensive team's first line of defense in preventing batters from reaching base. The more batters the pitcher gets out at home plate, the less baserunners there are, which means the opposing team has less of an opportunity to score.
Pitchers at-Bat (American League Vs. National League)
Because pitching is such a difficult and specialized craft, it requires a significant amount of time and energy to become great at it -- leaving very little room to practice other skills such as hitting. Therefore, pitchers are often poor hitters; this is so common that pitchers in the American League of the MLB are not required to hit and a designated hitter will take their place in the batting order.
We will learn more about bunting in future chapters.