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Thread: Catchers setting up the pitch...glove position

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    JBG
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    Default Catchers setting up the pitch...glove position

    I have noticed in our HS ball and Travel ball the past couple of years, catchers who appear to me not to set up well prior to the pitch.
    What i mean by this is basically having there glove in the same vertical position (and not good horizontal position) Ie: giving the pitcher a proper target before the pitch.

    Catchers would basically hold there glove at waist level for high and or low called pitches. When they should be holding there gloves much lower or higher depending on what pitch is called. And not really holding there glove far enough on the inside or outside of the plate. To me this leads to pitches that are going to be going through the heart of the strike zone. My DD has worked with a couple of good quality catchers in travel ball who know how to set up a pitch and what a difference!!!

    Her walks are lower, SO's are higher and ERA is much lower with a good catcher vs one that doesn't set up the pitch well.

    I have suggested this to Travel and HS coaches and it does not seem important to them or something they should work on. Am i wrong here? or just a pia dad?

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    Certified softball maniac nanotech14's Avatar
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    In rec league that my dd still enjoys playing,alot of the catchers don't ever move their glove.My dd has learned to pick points on or around the catcher to throw at,when i catch her practicing.I tell her what location and dont even put my glove up.She does really well at it,not perfect,but who is? She doesnt have to worry so much on her TB team,but I like it when the ctacher doesnt set up till late,just like the pros,you dont give the batter a advantage on where the pitch maybe.Well thats my 2Cents.

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    hen
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    In the higher levels you don't want to move early (especially the body) so you don't give away location, but not moving at all is bad. Unless I'm trying to help the pitcher move her balls out of the dirt I don't really know why you'd set up waist high either.

    A good catcher should use the mitt to help the pitcher (i.e. tap the mitt on the dirt to signal you want a 2 strike drop to absolutely be knee high or lower). Also, if you call outside but set up down the middle, you're gonna have to move the mitt to get to that pitch and glove movement is not helpful in getting more strikes from the umpire.

    I'd absolutely ask the coach to talk with the catcher. Maybe be a little sly and say it's to help your daughter, not so much to correct the catcher. Hopefully the coach won't feel like you're trying to tell him how to do his job and will receive it better. If that doesn't work, maybe approach the parents of the catcher and go the same route. How you say it unfortunately may have more effect than what you're trying to get across.

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    Certified softball maniac Sparky Guy's Avatar
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    There is another school of thought. You have the catcher set up neutral in the middle of the plate the same way on every pitch. Now the pitcher pics a spot on the catcher and uses that to throw to. It is up to the pitcher and catcher to decide how to do it.

    If your DD has a lazy or poorly trained catcher then it's up to her to figure out what to use to hit her spots. Once she quits relying on the catcher, working with a well trained catcher will be that much easier. I always tell my pitchers to take charge when they need to. This is a conversation your DD and the catcher need to be having. Don't wait for the coach.
    Last edited by Sparky Guy; 01-20-2012 at 11:23 AM.

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    Certified softball maniac Steve Huff's Avatar
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    I don't have time to effectively respond to this one tonight, but what I would say is the glove position for a rise for example is high enough, but not so high to interfere with the initial view of the corner of the strike zone by the umpire. Then move the glove up for the catch.

    When you are moving the glove outside the frame of the body, pushing it toward the edge of the strike zone, you carry the ball out of the strike zone. If you look at the girl's video throwing the drop-curve, you will see her catcher do it. Cross-body is the worst, especially with a RH batter, because the umpire is trying to see around the corner and sees all that movement insinuating a "ball"!

    My catchers move when the hands separate. It is two steps. The first or outside step establishes the final body, or frame, position. The second brings the trailing foot to the proper foot spread for proper balance.

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    Softball Junkie Mike's Avatar
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    From the sign giving stance, if setting up on the outside corner for a rh batter. Once the pitch starts, the catcher simply slides her right foot over until the center of her body is on the outside edge of the plate and sets up there.

    I am not 100% sold on that method. Problem I have is the ump clearly sees the center of your body is right on the outside corner, if you reach out to your right even slightly for the catch isnt that clearly a ball?

    If you stay put in the middle of the plate and reach to your right and receive the pitch properly you might get that strike call thats actually an inch or two off the plate.

    Make sense??

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball starsnuffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    From the sign giving stance, if setting up on the outside corner for a rh batter. Once the pitch starts, the catcher simply slides her right foot over until the center of her body is on the outside edge of the plate and sets up there.

    I am not 100% sold on that method. Problem I have is the ump clearly sees the center of your body is right on the outside corner, if you reach out to your right even slightly for the catch isnt that clearly a ball?

    If you stay put in the middle of the plate and reach to your right and receive the pitch properly you might get that strike call thats actually an inch or two off the plate.

    Make sense??
    It makes sense on paper only.

    If you set up in the center of the plate expecting an outside pitch, and that pitch is more then "just outside", you now have a passed ball. Catchers catch with their chest, the mitt just happens to get in the way most of the time.

    -W

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    hen
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    Quote Originally Posted by starsnuffer View Post
    It makes sense on paper only.

    If you set up in the center of the plate expecting an outside pitch, and that pitch is more then "just outside", you now have a passed ball. Catchers catch with their chest, the mitt just happens to get in the way most of the time.

    -W
    Agreed. I put passed balls as worse than a ball, but beside that, when teaching catchers to receive balls (frame if you will), incorporate a slight weight shift to the direction of the ball and you still get that pitch an inch or two caught in the middle of the body. Add that to good glove receiving and you wouldn't know you caught it off the plate. See NECC's lessons for great instruction.

    As for pitchers not liking late moving catchers, I had to give signals on the side of the plate that I wanted the pitch instead of giving signals in the middle of the plate. So to the batter it appeared that I was set up down the middle each time. Honestly the batters never really looked back to see where I was set up, it was more that they could hear me move and out of the corner of their eye see me moving away or towards them.

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    Certified softball maniac quincy's Avatar
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    As a few posters have said my DD P aims for a spot, not the glove. She does not care where their glove or bodies are. She does not like catchers that fidget all around and has said something to them.

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    Softball Junkie SoCalSoftballdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    As a few posters have said my DD P aims for a spot, not the glove. She does not care where their glove or bodies are. She does not like catchers that fidget all around and has said something to them.
    I think the movement of a catcher to a particular location is just as important to the UMPIRE as it is to the pitcher. For example, a low-inside fastball is called. As the pitcher start the pitch, the catcher slides the center of her body over to be even with the inside black of home plate. The pitch is delivered to that spot. From the umpire's perspective, the catcher went to a location and the pitch was delivered to that exact same location, appearing to the umpire that the pitcher had great control of the pitch and threw it exactly where she was trying to.

    If the catcher had merely stayed directly behind home plate during the pitch and then reached her glove to the inside to catch the fastball, it looks like the pitcher was wide of her intended target and is more likely to NOT get the called strike.

    There is a whole art to catching to increase the liklihood that the umpire will call strikes on borderline pitches, more often, when catchers employ solid catching techniques.

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