SP in Baseball: Everything About This Popular Acronym

SP in Baseball

Baseball is one game where you can see several acronyms for various positions. SP in Baseball is one of them. Have you ever wondered what the players mean when they use the term SP in Baseball? This is a pretty common phrase used by baseball players. So let us give you a detailed explanation for this popularly used acronym.

SP in Baseball stands for the term “Starting pitchers.” If you have read our article on “LRP in Baseball,” you are probably already quite familiar with the term Starting pitchers. So who are they exactly? Starting pitchers or SP in Baseball who stay on the mound from the beginning of the game.

Types of Pitchers in Baseball

So by now, you have already guessed that there is more than just one type of pitcher in a Baseball game. And if you are one of our regular readers, then you might already know the names. But if you are still not aware of the various pitchers, here is a list for you.

SP in Baseball

As the name goes, these pitchers stay in the game from the beginning. They are responsible for starting the game and being on the mound. So now you may wonder how many of the players in the team can be SP in Baseball? Only four to five players remain reserved to be the SP in Baseball.

Generally, the SP in Baseball throws for around six innings in a game. But there is no hard and fast rule on how many innings they can throw; if the strategy managers decide, the SP in Baseball can throw more or less than six innings accordingly.

The SP in Baseball plays a very crucial role for the team. They act as the spine of the team they are playing for. But what do they do, that they are given so much importance? The answer is pretty simple, the SP in Baseball helps to limit the score made by the opponent team. This helps their team to outshine the opponents. Thus, most of the time, the best pitchers in the team are made the SP in Baseball.

RP in Baseball

Even though we often see the SP in Baseball throw for six innings in a game, sometimes they also get exhausted or need to be kept for the later innings. So, in that case, who comes in “relief” for the SP in Baseball? Yes, you guessed it right, the “Relief” Pitchers, or as the acronym used popularly, the RP in Baseball.

Specifically, the relief pitchers come in the game somewhere between the first and fifth inning. They come as a replacement for the current pitchers. The strategy managers often introduce the RP in Baseball according to the game plan, sometimes to keep the SP in Baseball to throw in the later innings and give them a rest in between.

There are pre-decided nine to thirteen players in a team who are kept as relief pitchers. But there can be situations where any player can be used to replace a current pitcher, and it does not necessarily have to be one of those “pre-decided” ones. This entirely depends on the decision of the strategy manager, so if they decide otherwise, they have the liberty to carry it out.

Although there is also no limit for the number of innings the relief pitchers can throw in Baseball, they are generally seen to throw a maximum of five innings. Also, throwing relief pitchers for five innings is quite rare as, usually, the starting pitchers are not replaced very early in the game.

You would be surprised to know this interesting fact, that although SP in Baseball does not have any subcategories, relief pitchers do have quite a few. So how are these sub-divided? The categories of the relief pitchers have been made depending on when they are entering a game by replacing a “current pitcher.” These different relief pitchers have their own set of rules and responsibilities.

CP in Baseball

They are not typically another “type” of a pitcher in Baseball, but they are a type of Relief pitcher only. So what is so special about these relief pitchers who are known by the special term “CP?” The term CP is the acronym for Closing Pitcher.

They are unique because they are introduced as a “common strategy.”When the strategy managers are confident that their team has a high probability of winning the game, they introduce this special pitcher.

Although the SP in Baseball are excellent pitchers, the Closing Pitchers are considered the “best” in the game. Since these pitchers are introduced in the game, when the team already has a high chance of winning, they get an opportunity to earn a “Save.” If this term is new to you, let us explain briefly. A “save” is awarded to a relief pitcher when they are introduced in the game as a closing pitcher when their team already has a lead, and they end up winning the match for their team under certain conditions.

They play a very crucial role in the team. Just like the SP in Baseball is relied on to keep the opposing team’s score low, the CP is expected to close the game with a “lead.” They often pitch for only one inning, but being the best ones, they often perform exceptionally well and increase the chance for their team to win the game.

SP in Baseball sportsalizer

Difference between the three types of Pitchers

SP in BaseballRP in BaseballCP in Baseball
They are there in the game from the very beginningThey enter the game within the first and the fifth inning of the matchThey usually enter to pitch only in the last inning.
Generally, they throw about six innings in a game.The number of innings they pitch depends on which inning they substituteThey usually are responsible for the last three outs.
There are not any further subcategories for starting pitchersThere are quite a few types of subcategories like LRP, MRP, Set Up Man, and many others.CP in Baseball is a category of relief pitchers, and thus, they are not categorized further.

Best SP in baseball History

Pitchers are the most evolved position in professional Baseball. be it MLB or any other major league. These positions have been improvised time and again. So here is a list of some of the top three best Starting Pitchers of all time.

1. Walter Johnson

Walter Johnson

This renowned player played for the Washington Senators. For his entire “twenty-one year” long career, he played as a “right-handed pitcher” in professional Baseball. During that time, this extraordinary player went 417-279 with a 2.17 ERA and 147 ERA + while logging 5,914.1 innings.

2. Randy Johnson

Randy Johnson

This extraordinary player played for twenty-two years as a professional baseball player in the MLB. Randy Johnson, commonly referred to as the “Big Unit,” went 303-166 with a 3.29 ERA. Regard his tenure from 1999 to 2002. With a minimum total of 334 strikeouts per season, he led Baseball in strikeouts each season and won 4 successive Cy Young Awards.

3. Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux played as a right-handed pitcher. He was a part of several teams during his career as a professional player in the MLB. He played for the Chicago Clubs for two tenures and the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Pedres. If you consider Maddux’s career from 1992 to 1998, he had an outstanding ERA of 2.15 and a WHIP of 0.97.

FAQs on SP in baseball

Why can’t the SP in baseball pitch for the entire game?

Every ball they throw puts a bit more strain on their arms, straining and pulling ligaments to their breaking point. They are more prone to harm themselves the more they pitch. In a game, starting pitchers can pitch up to 120 times, but pitching for the entire match becomes a bit too excessive.

What is the reason behind teams having multiple pitchers?

There are several causes for this. Starters, long relievers, middle relievers, match-up relievers, set-up relievers, and closers are all needed by teams. Each brings a unique skill set to the table: starters offer command, relievers bring late movement pitches, and so on.

What is SP in baseball cards?

SP in baseball cards does not stand for “Starting Pitcher,” Rather, it means “Short Print.” This term suggests that these cards are printed in a limited amount and are not available in abundance like the base cards.


It is essential to remember that just like the batters are there for scoring runs for the team. The pitchers limit the opponents’ score. So it is not just essential to score high by hitting the balls, but it becomes highly crucial to keep the opposing team’s score within an achievable limit. SP in Baseball plays a significant role in paving the way for the team’s fate as they are starting the match.

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