Catching Resources

 Broken Play
(8/14/2018)
 
   

Broken Play


Monday Manager
By Skip Schumaker


In this edition of Monday Manager, Skip Schumaker breaks down a broken play with a double steal, wild pitch and errant throw by the catcher, and explains how the play is salvaged by the middle infielders.


Schumaker is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is a two-time World Series Champion. Schumaker was drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 MLB Amateur Player Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals following his career at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition to his two World Series titles, Schumaker was a member of the USA Baseball 2006 Olympic Qualifying team that won a gold medal in Cuba and secured a spot in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.


 Proper Catching Stances
(8/14/2018)
 
   

Proper Catching Stances


Fundamentals for a catchers stance


As with every position in baseball, we want to start each play with a good foundation. The catcher’s stance is the foundation from which everything happens off of. From here he will call the game, receive pitches and throw out runners. With each situation, the stance is altered in anticipation of the next play.

While each catcher is different, there are some fundamental touch points that every catcher can be mindful of. They are as follows:

SIGNAL STANCE

• Feet should be square to the pitcher about a foot apart.
• Body should split the plate in half.
• Left knee should point at shortstop position.
• Right knee should be closed enough so a runner on first base cannot see the signs.
• Glove should extend beyond left knee to guard against the third base coach.
• Throwing arm should rest in hip flexor crevice with elbow tucked in.
• Hand should be even with cup. Be aware not to give sign too high or too low.
• Catcher should check positioning of batter in the box and be aware of peeking.

RECEIVING STANCE

• After giving the sign, the catcher should shift into a comfortable but fundamentally sound receiving position.
• A quiet move to the proper location inside or outside should be at the right time so that the hitter cannot see it and runners on base cannot relay location.
• Feet should remain shoulder width apart with weight on the inside of the feet and toes turned slightly out.
• Glove arm should be slightly extended to give a good target.
• Glove positioning should be with fingers pointed to the sky. This will allow the elbow to remain tucked and give the pitcher an open glove target.
• Glove should be visible and not move until the pitcher releases the pitch.
• Position within the catcher’s box will vary according to the hitter. Always stay as close to the hitter as possible without interfering.
• Bare hand should be behind right heel, behind the back or by the right groin.

STANCE WITH RUNNERS ON

• With runners on base or with two strikes on the hitter, a modified receiving stance becomes a more athletic throwing/blocking position.
• Feet should be shoulder width apart with weight on the balls of the feet.
• Knees should be inside the ankles with rear elevated in a ready position.
• Giving a good, open target is still necessary. Remember “fingers to the sky.”
• Bare hand should be in a comfortable place behind the glove or by the right groin.


 Delayed Steal of Home
(8/14/2018)
 
   

Delayed Steal of Home


Monday Manager
By Skip Schumaker


In this edition Monday Manager, Skip Schumaker explains how a defensive breakdown and the catcher’s lack of concentration allow the runner on third to steal home.


Schumaker is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is a two-time World Series Champion. Schumaker was drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 MLB Amateur Player Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals following his career at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition to his two World Series titles, Schumaker was a member of the USA Baseball 2006 Olympic Qualifying team that won a gold medal in Cuba and secured a spot in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.


 Foul Ball to the Catcher
(8/14/2018)
 
   

Foul Ball to the Catcher


Monday Manager
By Skip Schumaker


In this edition of Monday Manager, Skip Schumaker discusses fielding a foul ball pop up to the catcher, and a heads up play by a baserunner.


Schumaker is a contributor to the USA Baseball Sport Development Blog, and is a two-time World Series Champion. Schumaker was drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 MLB Amateur Player Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals following his career at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition to his two World Series titles, Schumaker was a member of the USA Baseball 2006 Olympic Qualifying team that won a gold medal in Cuba and secured a spot in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.


 Interference and Obstruction Rulings
(8/14/2018)
 
   

Interference and Obstruction Rulings


An explanation on the distinction between interference and obstruction rulings


Interference is a broad rule book term that refers to a number of illegal actions that occur during a contest to change the course of the game. Interference can be committed by the team at the plate or the team in the field, as well as by players not even in the game at the time, an umpire, a fan, or another individual not associated with the team.

One key distinction between interference and obstruction: Interference is defined as a violation of either the offense or the defense; obstruction can only be committed by the defense.

OFFENSIVE INTERFERENCE

Offensive interference is the most common infraction and refers, according to the Official Rules of Major League Baseball, to “an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play.” An umpire can call a batter, batter-runner or runner out for offensive interference when he engages in any of the above behavior against the defensive team, sending any other runner to the last base that the umpire determines he occupied before the call was made.

CATCHER’S INTERFERENCE

Catcher’s interference occurs when a catcher interferes with a batter’s ability to hit a pitch. This happened when the batter swings and strikes the catcher’s glove or portion of the catcher’s body, usually during steal attempts when the catcher has inched too close to the batter in order to prepare to make a throw. When catcher’s interference is called, the batter is awarded first base. Those runners on base who are forced by the batter to advance are awarded the next bag. If a runner had been attempting to steal, he is safe.

FAN INTERFERENCE

Spectator interference occurs when a fan or another individual not associated with the team - such as a bullpen attendant or a batboy - alters a play in progress. Such interference most typically occurs on foul balls hit into the first row of the stands that a fielder would have had a chance to catch if the fan did not prevent him from doing so.

Whether such incidents are deemed interference depends on whether the umpire determines that fielder could have caught the ball over the field of play. If the fielder reaches into the stands and is hindered in making a catch, no interference is called. If the fan reaches over the railing and thwarts the fielder’s attempt at a play, interference is called. The umpire will award any outs or bases depending on what he believes had the interference not occurred.

OBSTRUCTION

Obstruction is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding it, impedes the progress of any runner on the base paths. According to Official Rules of Major League Baseball, “If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so that he must occupy his position to receive the ball, he may be considered ‘in act of fielding a ball’.” The umpire may use his discretion to determine if a fielder is engaged in such an act. A player is no longer considered to be actively fielding a batted ball after he has made an unsuccessful attempt to do so, and any conduct that impedes an offensive player after such an attempt qualifies as obstruction of that runner.