Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Why don’t more catchers drop a knee?

May 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Catching

Yadier Molina takes a knee

Being a catcher has to be the most physically demanding job on a baseball field.  Heck, my knees hurt just warming up a pitcher for a few throws.  I can’t imagine squatting down day in and day out over the course of a 162 game schedule.

This is why I can’t understand why more catchers do not go down on a knee when receiving pitches.  With no runners on base, why would it matter?  There are certainly catchers who do it every so often but none do it regularly.  I think they should, especially at the younger levels.  Here’s why:

For younger kids, taking a knee improves their balance which will improve their receiving ability.  It also can enable them to give the pitcher a lower target to throw to.  Obviously, it saves their knees as well from having to squat down on every pitch.

I’m not calling for catchers to drop a knee all the time.  With runners on base, catchers will need the ability to get up faster in order to throw to bases.  Dropping a knee would make that difficult.  However, if catchers drop a knee properly, there are significant benefits to them when it comes to relieving stress and strain on their knees.

If I was a catcher, I’d be doing it a lot.  I think others should too.


3 Responses to “Why don’t more catchers drop a knee?”
  1. Bryan Clayton says:

    Bob, interesting idea. On my amateur team, I’m seeing plenty of this, as we get older, we take any shortcut we can. For me personally, at 36 years old and in a desk job all day, I don’t have the flexibility anymore to be comfortable all the way down with my but on my heels, that’s one reason I use knee savers.

    At the little league level though I worry that we are leaving too much exposed to foul balls when we go down that low. In other words, the catchers quads are more exposed than necessary and increase the risk of injury. Considering that a 10 year old can only catch a max of 4 innings per game, I’m not sure if the benefit of going to a knee out weighs the increased risk of injury. That said, I would love to talk more about keeping pitches down in the zone at the LL level and this really may be a good technique. Beyond that though, even with no runners on, LL pitchers are still fairly inconsistent with their pitches and often throw WPs. Going down to the knees may cause a slight slow down in the game since getting up to go to the backstop is difficult and a catcher’s ability to move to a wold pitch is decreased. As with anything, there are pro’s and con’s on both sides.

    I haven’t noticed one way or the other with my Freshman team though, I’ll take a look today and see what the guys are doing.

    Thanks as always Coach,

  2. derek says:

    Bryan – why can a 10 year old only catch 4 innings? Not that most wouldn’t be worn out after 4, but is it a rule in some leagues?

    • Marvin says:

      LL does not have a rule limiting catchers to four innings. Many of the LLWS teams have catchers catch every inning of every game with a back up catcher or two if injury or fatigue is an issue.

      If a catchers catches in more than 3 innings in a game, he can no longer pitch in that game. If a pitcher throws more than 40 pitches in a game, he can not catch in that game.

      HOWEVER, a catcher who catches 3 innings can still throw the maximum pitches, and a pitcher who throws less than 41 pitches can then catch any number of innings. Weird, but true.

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