Monday, December 11th, 2017

Pinch on passed balls at home plate

April 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Coaching, Infield, Second Base, Shortstop

Today’s post is a tip for middle infielders and for coaches who are looking for another one of those little things to pass on to their players.  It involves a passed ball or wild pitch that goes to the backstop when there is a runner on third base and at least one other at 1st and/or 2nd before the pitch.

When the ball goes to the screen, the pitcher charges to cover home plate and the catcher does his best to reach the ball and throw it to the pitcher covering at home.  Many teams practice this play during PFP (Pitchers Fielding Practice) drills but many leave out an essential component of the play – middle infielders pinching to the center of the infield.

If the ball should get by the pitcher, the ball will continue out into the infield.  If the middle infielders are back at their positions or just go a base, a ball that rolls out to the mound after the throw is going to be a long way away from either one of them.  Because of this, the other runners on base have a great chance of moving up another base.  A runner who started at 2nd base will probably round third and score another run for his team.

Middle infielders break towards the mound in case throws get by the pitcher.

Middle infielders break towards the mound in case throws get by the pitcher.

A good way to practice this is have the catcher and pitcher do their thing on the passed ball but when the throw to the pitcher is made, have the pitcher occasionally not catch the ball.  Just let it continue out into the infield so the middle infielders get some practice in going for the ball and keeping additional runners at their base.

Tomorrow’s post: Nothing over your head 

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