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Catcher's signals to fielders w/ runner on second

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  • Catcher's signals to fielders w/ runner on second

    I was watching the Indiana vs Texas A&M game last week and it was the bottom of 2nd inning, one out w/ a runner on second. The catcher comes out in front of home plate and begins to signal to the fielders by touching his head, chest, glove, etc... Just like you would ask your catcher to do with runners on first and third and letting them know what play you want.

    So, my question - what is the purpose of this with one out and a runner on second? I believe he signaling to the pitcher and middle infielders what pickoff play should be made. Or could it be something else?

  • #2
    Pick off play, would be my first guess. But if I were going to pick, the last thing I would want is to give him a heads up. Sounds more like he wanted the runner to think something was going to happen in order to reduce his lead off.
    Josh Greer
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    • #3
      Could be calling the bunt coverage also if they have more than one coverage for that situation (try to keep runner off third as opposed to just taking the out at first and giving up third)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jbolt_2000 View Post
        I was watching the Indiana vs Texas A&M game last week and it was the bottom of 2nd inning, one out w/ a runner on second. The catcher comes out in front of home plate and begins to signal to the fielders by touching his head, chest, glove, etc... Just like you would ask your catcher to do with runners on first and third and letting them know what play you want.

        So, my question - what is the purpose of this with one out and a runner on second? I believe he signaling to the pitcher and middle infielders what pickoff play should be made. Or could it be something else?
        Good question, I saw a big league team do it with one out and runners on first and second. I guessed that it may be where the catcher's throw would go on a steal- 2nd or 3rd. But if in your case there was just a runner on 2nd and not 1st then that reasoning wouldn't apply. Other possibilities; a) bunt defense but with one out don't really get it b) catcher letting infielders know what pitch call system is used or being changed to(1st signal, 2nd, etc.) so everyone knows whether pitch is off speed or fball. Doubtful on this, too as these signals could be stolen just as easily. Was your situation 1st and 2nd or just 2nd?
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        • #5
          Originally posted by omg View Post

          Good question, I saw a big league team do it with one out and runners on first and second. I guessed that it may be where the catcher's throw would go on a steal- 2nd or 3rd. But if in your case there was just a runner on 2nd and not 1st then that reasoning wouldn't apply. Other possibilities; a) bunt defense but with one out don't really get it b) catcher letting infielders know what pitch call system is used or being changed to(1st signal, 2nd, etc.) so everyone knows whether pitch is off speed or fball. Doubtful on this, too as these signals could be stolen just as easily. Was your situation 1st and 2nd or just 2nd?
          Could be bunt defense too. That makes sense.
          The play I saw was one out and runner at second only. So maybe he was telling the infield where to go throw on a bunt.

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          • #6
            My son is a freshman catching summer ball with the HS. With a runner on second, he calls pitch, location, and number of looks the pitcher is to give the runner from the crouch. The number of looks is also picked up by SS\2 so they know when to move back to their defensive position. He also calls bunt D.
            Last edited by 2022dad; 06-08-2018, 04:16 PM.
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            • #7
              That is exactly what my son just learned for his academy team. They also use it for timed pickoffs.

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              • #8
                Would be more inclined to say bunt defense rather than pickoff play...simply because with a runner on 2nd, PO plays are usually called by F6 behind the runner, and not the F2 in front of the plate for runner to easily see....and if he's just doing it as a decoy to the runner, what's the point?

                More times than not runners are not stealing 3rd at the college level, and to get the R2 to cut his lead by a step or two is really rather pointless unless in a bunt situation, and you wanted those couple extra steps to help the "bunt defense" that someone has to call....presumably F2 if it's not called in via a number or name system from the bench.
                In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                • #9
                  I might lean toward which signal or finger signs he is using. Years ago, I learned from a MLB catcher that when he put his index finger into slots in his face mask, he was signaling to his infielders and pitcher which number sign was the signal for the pitch he wanted. That made a lot of sense to me and we used it for my baseball teams.
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                  • #10
                    I saw an interview with Maddux and he said that he sometimes called pitches based on how he caught the throw back from the catcher
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                      Would be more inclined to say bunt defense rather than pickoff play...simply because with a runner on 2nd, PO plays are usually called by F6 behind the runner, and not the F2 in front of the plate for runner to easily see....and if he's just doing it as a decoy to the runner, what's the point?
                      Sorry, I failed to give all of the info. It is also used for timed pickoffs to 1st when a runner is on 1st and 2nd or 1st and 3rd. Coach likes to catch runners sleeping at first when they aren't being held on.


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                      • #12
                        Against the Braves the other night, Mesoraco stepped in front of the plate and gave a series of signals. Frazier looked at the dugout like "what's that mean?"
                        Put your junk in your pocket!

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