MLB has a new piece of technology that could eliminate sign-stealing by allowing catchers to send audio signals straight to pitchers’ hats. The device, called PitchCom, allows catcher’s to press a button that relays a pitch call in English or Spanish.
A double cut happens whenever a base hit is hit to an area that will require your outfielder to throw to another base in order to record an out. The trail man in this play is the second baseman.
The Relay Man
Relays are a huge part of baseball and one that is often overlooked in practice. It is believed that the relay was first introduced to young players whose arms weren’t strong enough to make the throws to each base.
A relay happens when an outfielder fields the ball and a runner attempts to advance to another base. The cutoff man (usually a middle infielder) moves into position between where the outfielder fields the ball and the target base to receive the throw from the outfielder and then quickly relay it to the base.
The lead cutoff man needs to be able to read the play and listen for his teammates’ call. He also needs to be able to communicate with the lead tagger to make sure he is in position to freeze any trail runners. This takes constant practice. The second cutoff man needs to be able to communicate well with his teammate as well and move into the correct position to receive the throw.
When a ball is hit into the outfield with runners on base it is important to recognize the situation and then be prepared to move quickly to the right position. Typically the outfielder will throw the ball to a cut off player if there is no one on first or a man on second.
If there is a man on third the outfielder will usually throw to the infielder closest to that base. The outfielder should also be ready to run towards third in the event that the runner tries to steal second base.
A lot of times an outfielder will not be able to get the ball all the way from where they fielded it to the target base. This is when it is important to have another player, a middle infielder, moving into position between where the outfielder fields the ball and the target base. This is called a double cut. It should be done as soon as the outfielder sees that the throw is made to avoid an overthrow.
The relay is a great drill for players to work on their throwing abilities. Players will line up and are given a ball, then when the player with the ball signals they will throw it to the next player down the line.
The player with the ball will signal by turning his back to the other players, then he will turn around and throw the baseball to them. Each player will catch the ball, turn and throw to the next, continuing down the line until the team has thrown their way through the entire line.
When working on double cutoffs it is important for the trail cut off man to stay about 20 – 30 feet behind the lead guy and communicate with him constantly, telling him when to hold or throw and to what base. This will allow them to be prepared for any situation the lead guy may get into. Also it will keep them ready to make a quick and accurate throw.
The Third Baseman
Third basemen are responsible for fielding ground balls and line drives in the general vicinity of third base. Therefore, they must have strong and accurate throwing arms along with good overall agility. Additionally, they need to be able to quickly tag a baserunner who makes an unwise run from second base to third.
They also need to be able to field hard hit line drives that come right at them. This is because they are not able to move as far as the shortstop or second baseman can to the left or right of third base.
On a ball hit to the left fielder with a runner on third and no play at second, the third baseman will need to take a few shuffle steps toward first base so they are in line with the outfielder and the catcher. Then they need to be ready to receive the throw from the shortstop. They will also be the lead cut off man on a double cut when that situation arises. MLB중계