Bad catcher, good pitcher

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Oct 25, 2013
83
8
DFW Area
Recently ran across a HS fall ball situation I'd like to get opinions on.

Varsity game, good hard throwing pitcher, catcher who should not have been out there. Plate umpire took several direct hits where the catcher never even moved her glove. Umpire approached the coach and asked that he put in someone who would at least try to catch the ball. Coach agreed he needed to replace her but would not do it in the middle of an inning so as not to humiliate her. OK fine.

Question is - what are an umpire's options in this case? Keep in mind this is HS fall ball, aka practice, Move behind the batter? Move behind the pitcher?

Opinions appreciated. Thanks.
 
Oct 11, 2010
8,128
83
Chicago, IL
Umpire asked us this at least a couple times. I think it is a fair ask.

1st priority is everyone goes home and not to emergency room, that includes other Team and umps.

We were able to resolve Issue but I am curious to see what umpires would do if we could not. They are not there to be targets.
 
Nov 26, 2010
4,505
113
Michigan
HS coaches are limited to who shows up to tryouts. Not every team gets a good catcher or shortstop or center fielder…or pitcher. Coaches can convert a position player to catcher fairly quickly if it’s the right player who is 100% willing. But sometimes that’s not a choice.

My dds junior year a team in her conference had a freshman pitcher who had great stuff. She didn’t have a catcher who could handle her riseball. We won by laying off high pitches and walking, then taking bases on the mishandled pitches

with a good catcher she might have been the best pitcher we faced.
 
Jul 22, 2015
646
93
Th best option i have found is to change my positioning and stance. I "hide" behind the catcher. It has to hit her before it hits me. Not a great answer but I won't continue to be beat up due to a poor catcher.
 
Oct 11, 2010
8,128
83
Chicago, IL
Not on topic but I love this video. Like how umpire ignored the kids and went right to HC. I also wonder if DD was C if she would do it or say no. Her rules seemed flexible sometimes.

 
May 10, 2021
98
18
Th best option i have found is to change my positioning and stance. I "hide" behind the catcher. It has to hit her before it hits me. Not a great answer but I won't continue to be beat up due to a poor catcher.
If I had to and was working alone I would get behind the pitcher......have to be extreme but hey you never know.

1st pitch hard throwing girl broke my protective cup in 4 pieces, 2nd pitch a soon to be blueberry on the hamstring all combined with a catcher not moving at all? Do what you have to do.
 
Dec 15, 2018
516
93
CT
Ah yes, I'm wearing a lovely purple circle on my inner right thigh this morning from a fastball (strike) the catcher didn't seem to even move for. Last inning. Coach apologized after the game.
 
Mar 1, 2013
306
43
Honestly, all you can do is ask the coach to instruct the catcher or replace her. Assuming she's not getting me hit on purpose (which would carry a different action by me), I'd just adjust both my positioning as well as "open the senses" more to better anticipate the pitch and "the hit". You do have to avoid getting jumpy. I saw a bouncing ball coming at me and while trying to avoid getting hit I twisted and took the ball in an unprotected area of my head. Staying in and taking it is counterintuitive but I learned a painful lesson to do just that.

Anyone who has strapped on gear and gotten behind the plate has experienced the phenomenon. Pitcher advances in skill beyond the ability of the catcher. That's why we wear all of that armor. Ball still finds flesh no matter how much you wear, though.
 
May 23, 2018
92
18
Recently ran across a HS fall ball situation I'd like to get opinions on.

Varsity game, good hard throwing pitcher, catcher who should not have been out there. Plate umpire took several direct hits where the catcher never even moved her glove. Umpire approached the coach and asked that he put in someone who would at least try to catch the ball. Coach agreed he needed to replace her but would not do it in the middle of an inning so as not to humiliate her. OK fine.

Question is - what are an umpire's options in this case? Keep in mind this is HS fall ball, aka practice, Move behind the batter? Move behind the pitcher?

Opinions appreciated. Thanks.
No options. We're paid to umpire a game, not to choose which players play where. I just move from the slot to a position behind the catcher. That way, it hits the catcher instead of me. I'm curious, a high school catcher that can't catch? Is this a JV or Freshman playing up?
 
Feb 20, 2019
97
18
No options. We're paid to umpire a game, not to choose which players play where. I just move from the slot to a position behind the catcher. That way, it hits the catcher instead of me. I'm curious, a high school catcher that can't catch? Is this a JV or Freshman playing up?

Was wondering the same thing...even in fall ball, you'd hope to have a catcher that can actually catch the ball.
 
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