3/17/08

Talking shortstops


In a double play situation when the pitcher will start the double play through 2nd base...

Communication is critical. Before the 1st pitch, it is the shortstop's responsibility to tell the pitcher he will be turning two through him (the shortstop). Yes, the pitcher probably knows this. But baseball is about routines and consistency. You want to plant the seed in your pitcher's head so he knows exactly what to do with the ball when he gets it. Hesitation could lead to a busted play. When a ball is hit up the middle, both the shortstop and 2nd baseman are naturally moving towards the bag so it's important that the pitcher knows who his target will be.

Coach's Tip
This may seem like a picky detail, but coaches who stress small things like this will instill discipline in their players and probably avoid several errors over the course of a season.

1 comment:

Adam said...

This is a great point to stress at the little league and pony ball level, since typically you will have one of your best players at shortstop (hey, it happens). It is up to coaches that teach more advanced levels (Jr High and High School) to begin to follow on with finer points about shifts and/or coverage on a steal. If the second baseman will be moving to receive a throw from the catcher, it makes a lot of sense to have them field a 1-x-3 double play as well.

That's a bit nit-picky and the general rule that the shortstop takes it is a good one. Reminding the pitcher is critical (even through college) so they do not have to think about what happens on a come-backer, it's already been addressed.