What Does SP, RP, and CP Mean in Baseball

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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what does sp, rp, and cp mean in baseball

Baseball would not be the same without the pitchers. And if you are an avid watcher of the sport, you would know that there are different types of pitchers – the SP, RP, and CP!

What does SP, RP, and CP mean in baseball? These correspond to the three kinds of pitchers. It stands for Starting Pitcher, Relief Pitcher, and Closing Pitcher.

Each of these has different roles, and it is up to the team to strategize and use them to their advantage!

What Does SP, RP, and CP Mean?

Pitchers are baseball players assigned to throw the ball from the mound toward the catcher. Their goal is to make the batter commit an out.

Every game puts a lot of pressure on pitchers; some even say that this is the most important player on the defensive team.

Aside from different pitching techniques to win over opponents, baseball teams can utilize different pitcher roles to prevent too much fatigue for the player.

Here are the three roles and their meanings:

1. SP: The Starting Pitchersp-baseball-team

What position is SP in baseball? SP position in baseball refers to the starting pitcher.

The best pitchers on the team are assigned to this position. The SP baseball team usually has 4 to 6 players.

Pitchers take a lot of work in the game, and the SP baseball position has the highest load during the game.

What does SP mean in baseball when it comes to playing? As it is expected that they are the ace of the team, they would have to throw at least five innings.

Due to a player’s compromised performance when tired, an SP usually does not throw more than seven innings. A pitcher’s performance will dictate whether they will be staying longer in the game.

What SP stand for in baseball is to ensure that the opposing team has limited runs to score. This will help them gain the upper hand and score more than their opponent.

Because of this, they are given three to five rest days before their next game. This is of much more importance during the big leagues as game fatigue is a serious compromise to their ability to play and overall performance.

Some of the famous starting pitchers are Walter Johnson, Greg, Maddux, and Randy Johnson! These iconic players also have their SP baseball cards ready to be collected by passionate fans.

2. RP: The Relief Pitcherrp-stand-for

The SP baseball meaning is all about the ace pitchers at the start of the game. When they start having trouble with their performance, here is where the RP pitcher comes in.

RP stands for Relief Pitcher. Their primary role is to substitute starting pitchers when needed.

It is common to see starting pitchers subbed out for a relief pitcher as part of the team’s strategy, as the player starts being fatigued, or if they are called out by game officials.

For this role, 9 to 13 players are assigned as relief pitchers. Since there are a lot more, they are seen to play more consecutively. The RP has different types as well, namely the:

  • Long reliever. They play many innings to make up for the starting pitcher’s mishaps, like injuries, ineffectiveness, and the like.
  • Middle reliever. Their role is to play in the 6th to 7th inning to protect their team’s current score.
  • Setup reliever. They are pitchers who play before the closing. Their main objective is to keep their team in the lead or prevent the opponent from scoring any further.

The RP role is much more flexible as the manager can call for any pitcher to play for the role whenever needed. You may encounter times when the team has the shortstop playing as the RP.

3. CP: The Closing Pitcher


What RP means in baseball is to essentially close the gap between the SP and the CP. What does CP stand for in baseball?

Lastly, the CP is the Closer or the Closing Pitcher. As the name suggests, they are the last pitchers to play in the final inning.

The closing pitcher must be outstanding as they can lead their team to victory. This pitcher must conclude the game and keep their lead over the opponent.

A team’s last chance to secure a win depends on the closing pitcher’s performance during the game’s last inning.

The closer needs to have winning pitching techniques ready, such as an intense fastball.

Indeed, the closers are under intense pressure when they play. This is a highly important role, and in the professional world, they are given salaries similar to that of starting pitchers.

How Do These Work?


Different players assigned to the pitcher’s role follow a rotation. Given the intense pressure and fatigue that pitching places upon a pitcher, the rotation will help provide enough rest to pitchers as needed.

  • A pitching rotation refers to assigning a starting pitcher to a particular game. These players are usually assigned per game, and would not necessarily play in the same game.
  • The team’s SP rotates on who would be tasked to pitch at the beginning of each game. Usually, they rest for a few days before pitching again, so the rotation gives them enough time to recuperate.
  • The games begin by rotating between the team’s starting pitchers. Once they were too tired to continue, the coach would put the relief pitchers on the mound. Then, the assigned relief pitcher and closing pitcher go sequentially.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between CP and RP?

The CP stands for the closing pitcher, and the RP refers to the relief pitcher. The CP plays during the last inning and closes the game.

On the other hand, the RP replaces the starting pitcher after they are tired from playing.

What is an MRP pitcher?

The middle relief pitcher, or MRP, is a pitcher that plays during the 5th to 7th innings of a game.


Pitching plays an essential role in baseball, and three different types are needed to maximize their skills and performance.

What does SP, RP, and CP mean in baseball? These stand for starting pitchers, relief pitchers, and closing pitchers.

The SP usually has the most load during the game and needs a specific pitching rotation to give them rest between games. To substitute them after a few innings, the RP takes the mound.

Lastly, the CP is the last to play, and helps the team secure a victory!

Read more: Things you need to know to become a pitcher in baseball.

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