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When the catcher blocks you out - what are your options?

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If you are set up in the slot and the catcher completely blocks your view of the plate - What can you do?

Should you ever move to the other side of the catcher? I have herd "No" but sometimes I feel like that is the best option. If you have eniough time.

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Up or back, if the catcher starts missing pitches tell him you can't guess strikes. Moving outside puts you in prime foulball territory that will get you beat to death.

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if the catcher starts missing pitches tell him you can't guess strikes.

This. If a catcher is blocking your view, a simple "Hey, Mike, if you set up too far inside, I can't see the pitches" will usually make him move back out some.

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This. If a catcher is blocking your view, a simple "Hey, Mike, if you set up too far inside, I can't see the pitches" will usually make him move back out some.

I was told this from a guy who works alot of ball at the CWS... he said a way to get rid of this is, at the 8 pitch warm up,tell the catcher your name, blah, blah.. then ask him if you can have the inside part of the plate, so you can see the zone and call strikes for him.. I tried it this yr, worked well.. he also said that later in the game if he starts squeezing the inside again tell him " hey mike, i can't see the inside again" 97.4% of catchers will move cause they want that inside strike called. and BTW this not coaching, but helping to make your job easier.

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I try and talk to the catcher first, if he doesnt understand. Start calling Balls. If coach gets chippy, talk to him. Dont move out, just up and back. But if you like the slot, talk to the catcher...... Varsity guys understand it; JV not so much.

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I try and talk to the catcher first, if he doesnt understand. Start calling Balls. If coach gets chippy, talk to him. Dont move out, just up and back. But if you like the slot, talk to the catcher...... Varsity guys understand it; JV not so much.

I was at a high school mechanics clinic this weekend and that's what the instructor said when I asked about catchers crowding inside. He recommended calling balls and when the coach asks where that pitch was, simply respond, "I have no idea coach. Your catcher is blocking the strike zone and I can't call what I can't see."

I'm not sure I like that approach, but maybe it works for him. This is my first year doing high school ball, and I will only get fresh/soph games (solo, no partner), and I expect that I will have to deal with this pretty often. I prefer to deal with the catcher on this, but if he's too young to understand the problem he's creating, then I'll speak with the coach.

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I try and talk to the catcher first, if he doesnt understand. Start calling Balls. If coach gets chippy, talk to him. Dont move out, just up and back. But if you like the slot, talk to the catcher...... Varsity guys understand it; JV not so much.

I was at a high school mechanics clinic this weekend and that's what the instructor said when I asked about catchers crowding inside. He recommended calling balls and when the coach asks where that pitch was, simply respond, "I have no idea coach. Your catcher is blocking the strike zone and I can't call what I can't see."

I'm not sure I like that approach, but maybe it works for him. This is my first year doing high school ball, and I will only get fresh/soph games (solo, no partner), and I expect that I will have to deal with this pretty often. I prefer to deal with the catcher on this, but if he's too young to understand the problem he's creating, then I'll speak with the coach.

That's bush league. The catcher has a job to do and so do you.

Mind reading is not on the catcher's list of required duties. So how is he going to know if he is blocking you out?

Yes if you get blocked out you shouldn't call what you can't see, but you're not going to stick it to them repeatedly. A good catcher will ask right away on an inside pitch that should be a strike, did I block you out? Unfortunately, not all of us get to work with good catchers every plate job.

So if he does block you out, call a ball, and don't wait "hey man, you squeezed me out there and I couldn't see...can you leave me a bit of the inside corner still?" or whatever you want.

That should sort out your problems.

Now, if the guy is a moron and doesn't move after you asked, ball the next pitch he blocks you out of. That should get a manager's attention...remember Soscia coming out to Jerry Layne in the 09 ALCS asking if Napoli blocked him out? If the Circus is in town and no one catches on, you're either gonna have to adjust (this does not include moving out of the slot) or get the manager involved on your own. This could be a place to use the "fake substitution" excuse to go grab a word with skip. However the discussion happens, the message you want to get across is simple "I can't call what I can't see. I tried adjusting, I asked your catcher to adjust and he refused. I can't do anything else for you."

But for the love of all that is good, do not just sit there balling good pitches to stick it to a guy. I really do wonder about some of these people who teach clinics...

Having a chat with each catcher during warm-ups should be done by all of us. But, there's only so much time to exchange info / get the points you need to make across. The content of the conversation is going to be unique to us all; as long as you start the game with the guy's name, an idea with what stuff the pitcher has, and you've indicated there can be a good flow of dialogue (within reason) between the two of you, you're set.

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I try and talk to the catcher first, if he doesnt understand. Start calling Balls. If coach gets chippy, talk to him. Dont move out, just up and back. But if you like the slot, talk to the catcher...... Varsity guys understand it; JV not so much.

I was at a high school mechanics clinic this weekend and that's what the instructor said when I asked about catchers crowding inside. He recommended calling balls and when the coach asks where that pitch was, simply respond, "I have no idea coach. Your catcher is blocking the strike zone and I can't call what I can't see."

I'm not sure I like that approach, but maybe it works for him. This is my first year doing high school ball, and I will only get fresh/soph games (solo, no partner), and I expect that I will have to deal with this pretty often. I prefer to deal with the catcher on this, but if he's too young to understand the problem he's creating, then I'll speak with the coach.

That's bush league. The catcher has a job to do and so do you.

Mind reading is not on the catcher's list of required duties. So how is he going to know if he is blocking you out?

Yes if you get blocked out you shouldn't call what you can't see, but you're not going to stick it to them repeatedly. A good catcher will ask right away on an inside pitch that should be a strike, did I block you out? Unfortunately, not all of us get to work with good catchers every plate job.

So if he does block you out, call a ball, and don't wait "hey man, you squeezed me out there and I couldn't see...can you leave me a bit of the inside corner still?" or whatever you want.

That should sort out your problems.

Now, if the guy is a moron and doesn't move after you asked, ball the next pitch he blocks you out of. That should get a manager's attention...remember Soscia coming out to Jerry Layne in the 09 ALCS asking if Napoli blocked him out? If the Circus is in town and no one catches on, you're either gonna have to adjust (this does not include moving out of the slot) or get the manager involved on your own. This could be a place to use the "fake substitution" excuse to go grab a word with skip. However the discussion happens, the message you want to get across is simple "I can't call what I can't see. I tried adjusting, I asked your catcher to adjust and he refused. I can't do anything else for you."

But for the love of all that is good, do not just sit there balling good pitches to stick it to a guy. I really do wonder about some of these people who teach clinics...

Having a chat with each catcher during warm-ups should be done by all of us. But, there's only so much time to exchange info / get the points you need to make across. The content of the conversation is going to be unique to us all; as long as you start the game with the guy's name, an idea with what stuff the pitcher has, and you've indicated there can be a good flow of dialogue (within reason) between the two of you, you're set.

I'm not sure I portrayed the conversation exactly right. The instructor wasn't advocating sticking it to him - just calling what you can see. However, I am with you in that the best approach is to talk to the catcher first. I like the idea that you and another poster earlier suggested - talking to the catchers before the game and politely asking for the inside. With the exception of one 14U game, I have only ever worked games with kids from ages 12 down to 8, and in those games a conversation like that wouldn't be all that fruitful. I am looking forward to establishing the catcher/umpire relationship that you see in upper levels of baseball. I know it will be a mixed bag with frosh/soph games, but it will certainly be better than working 10U Pony games.

Steve

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At the international camp one of the instructors (I don't remember which one) told us to get into position earlier and place our foot a bit further up in the slot to block the catcher out from squeezing us. if they start to do it and don't listen to your polite request.

I've used this technique a few times and it works well. they start their squat directly behind the plate then start squeezing you but hit your leg and stop there. I've never had one say anything to me, but if they did I'd tell them I'm trying to get a look at the pitch so I can call it.

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At the international camp one of the instructors (I don't remember which one) told us to get into position earlier and place our foot a bit further up in the slot to block the catcher out from squeezing us. if they start to do it and don't listen to your polite request.

I've used this technique a few times and it works well. they start their squat directly behind the plate then start squeezing you but hit your leg and stop there. I've never had one say anything to me, but if they did I'd tell them I'm trying to get a look at the pitch so I can call it.

The only problem I have here is that your leg being there could potentiality cause a problem for the catcher in the event F1 throws a 55 footer, especially if it bounces inside.

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At the international camp one of the instructors (I don't remember which one) told us to get into position earlier and place our foot a bit further up in the slot to block the catcher out from squeezing us. if they start to do it and don't listen to your polite request.

I've used this technique a few times and it works well. they start their squat directly behind the plate then start squeezing you but hit your leg and stop there. I've never had one say anything to me, but if they did I'd tell them I'm trying to get a look at the pitch so I can call it.

The only problem I have here is that your leg being there could potentiality cause a problem for the catcher in the event F1 throws a 55 footer, especially if it bounces inside.

From what Warren is saying, I don't picture your foot/leg being that far up so that it would hinder the catcher.

If you're that far up, I think you're too close anyway.

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I've become comfortable working pretty far up into the slot already. for me it is the difference in going from heel toe to a 6"+ gap.

As for blocking the catcher that is secondary to me. Of course I make every attempt to get out of his way, but even withthat I've had pitches which go to the out side. I open up and still the catcher runs into me. That's just going to happen.

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I must be lucky, as I have only had one catcher block me out repeatedly in the last two years.

He was so bad at it the coach never said a word to me he told his catcher that he had to let me see the pitch. The coach even came over and told me it was a problem he was having and thanked me for not letting him get away with it because it was JV. He knew that the kid was going to be his varsity catcher next year and he also knew if he didn't get it fixed now our varsity umpires were not going to let him get away it next year.

This catcher was coming out of his crouch as the pitcher was releasing the ball, I was lucky to even see it in the last 50' to the plate. The coach, who I found out later is also a catcher in a local adult league worked with him over the summer and last year I had the same catcher twice and never had a problem. The only thing I could do was go up and back, before the team when to their other catcher (the starting catcher had to go pitch) I was almost standing straight up just to see over the catcher's shoulder (he was 5' 10" ish and I am only 5' 5"). It made for an interesting game, not one of my better ones as my zone was bad as a result of having to change my stance so much, I kicked a catch/ no catch by looking away and I kicked a ruling on a batter's interference, at least I looked it up and know the rule backwards and forwards now.

One of the things I have found that works is getting the schools to invite us out to a inter squad scrimmage/practice, we do this for free and in exchange we talk to their whole program about (frosh to varsity) rules and rule changes, we answer any questions and we watch pitches from behind all of the catchers and let them know some things that help like not cutting off our view of the plate and the difference between pulling pitches and framing pitches.

I really see the difference a during playoffs at lower levels (13U-15U) where guys who have been told/asked to give the umpire at least part of the inside corner vs. catchers who block out umpires and even after being told can't figure out why they can't get strikes during the playoffs.

Jasper

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I like it when the manager was a catcher. It makes it easy to just say he is killing me inside and the coach knows exactly what I mean. I had a catcher that wanted to do the stand early thing when I was coaching. I would yell to him that the umpire can't call what he can't see. It let the catcher know what to do and let the umpire know I understand my catcher is killing his pitcher.

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This is why you never move to the other side:

http://mlb.mlb.com/m...tent_id=6018225

What a timely post!

Just last week I was doing some cage practice at a local college (their pitchers & batters were preparing for the upcoming season). After the practice, I was told by one of our more experienced members that when the catcher crowds the slot, slide over a bit to other side. He said that he once saw MLB umpire Paul Nauert do this, and in addition it gives you a full view of the plate. I told him that I always move up a bit to compensate for the crowding; this is what I learned from my many clinics/camps. (I knew that moving over toward the middle of the plate on the other side of the catcher's head put me in line with a lot of foul balls). I'm tempted to send the MLB website address of the video of Randy Marsh lining up on the other side of the catcher's head because F2 was crowding the slot.

I think I'm going to stick with what I have learned and practiced...

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What is Marsh doing there in the first place? Didn't look like he moved late - why was he in the kill zone?

This is why you never move to the other side:

http://mlb.mlb.com/m...tent_id=6018225

What a timely post!

Just last week I was doing some cage practice at a local college (their pitchers & batters were preparing for the upcoming season). After the practice, I was told by one of our more experienced members that when the catcher crowds the slot, slide over a bit to other side. He said that he once saw MLB umpire Paul Nauert do this, and in addition it gives you a full view of the plate. I told him that I always move up a bit to compensate for the crowding; this is what I learned from my many clinics/camps. (I knew that moving over toward the middle of the plate on the other side of the catcher's head put me in line with a lot of foul balls). I'm tempted to send the MLB website address of the video of Randy Marsh lining up on the other side of the catcher's head because F2 was crowding the slot.

I think I'm going to stick with what I have learned and practiced...

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