Cutoffs

When nothing is said I see a lot of times the players cut it or are confused.  Do you have the baseman say something to have them throw through?

I thought about cut + base to cut it.  Then not say "cut" but the bag and throw through.

Play at plate but instead try to get runner advacing to 2nd.  This one always gets a lot of teams cause player will t turn to cut 4 instead of staying to square cut 2.  Cut 4 on play at plate then change to cut 2 to get runner at 2nd if he andvances.

It's not confusing if it's practiced.  Unfortunately most teams hardly practice it.  

The problem with all the focus on the cut is that becomes the focus.  I want the ball thrown to the base with velocity to get there and on a line to be cut if needed.  

I agree that its something that should be practiced. Teach your players to throw through the cut - off man. Teach your players to cut only if directed to do so. Teach your players to say nothing if they want it through and Cut-2, Cut-3, Cut-4 if they want it Cut. Redirecting Cut's and pre pitch cut calls should be practiced. Of course there is Baseball Feel that has to be brought into the equation. Throws that are dying, way off line, etc no one should have to say anything even though they should. The whole goal is to keep single's single's, double's double's, triples' triple's and not allowing runners to take bases behind lead runners they shouldn't be given. 

We practice this everyday. It's part of taking infield each day. Add actual runners when you can and practice redirecting cut's based on how the play unfolds. You can also do this while taking BP. Have your defense practice cut's while your taking BP. This also is a good way to work on actual base running as well. Every time your working on the defensive side of a part of the game is an opportunity to work the offensive side as well. 

The catcher is the only player on the field who faces the  field. He should make the cut call. There are times when common sense "Baseball Feel" has to take over so decisions can be made in real time. The more your players practice this the better they will be at it. Redirecting cut's is the catchers job and part of the process. Cut four can quickly turn into Cut two. If a runner is on 2nd base your pre pitch cut call is cut 4 DBL CUT 2.  But lets say the left fielder bobbles the ball and it's clear there is no play at 4. The immediate cut all is redirected to CUT 2. Does the MIF have to be told this by the catcher? Probably if you never work on this part of the game. Waiting to be told what to do or understanding what needs to be done? Moving your feet and being in the proper position to make a play? Some things just need to be done and practiced over and over.

I teach it in terms of lines.  I want our OF to throw a line to his target to get there with velocity. 

If the OF has thrown a good line with velocity on target we say nothing and our relay man will fake a cut. We want no more than 2 hops.  Anything more than 2 hops is a weak throw which gets us to the next one...

If the line is weak or off target have the receiver yell RELAY because it continues the line to the original target.  We are getting the line back on target or creating velocity because the OF didn't provide it

If we want a throw to go to another base we call CUT 2,3,4 because we are changing the line and have to create a new destination

If there is no play whatsoever then it's CUT HOLD and now we are stopping the line

[quote]  I want our OF to throw a line to his target to get there with velocity.  

We want no more than 2 hops.  Anything more than 2 hops is a weak throw which gets us to the next one... [/quote]

This is so important.  Bad coaches don't teach/enforce this.  They talk about "hitting the cut" as opposed to throwing to the target.  I don't have enough fingers and toes to tell you how many outs we have given up and runs allowed because of this.  

Golfman25 posted:

[quote]  I want our OF to throw a line to his target to get there with velocity.  

We want no more than 2 hops.  Anything more than 2 hops is a weak throw which gets us to the next one... [/quote]

This is so important.  Bad coaches don't teach/enforce this.  They talk about "hitting the cut" as opposed to throwing to the target.  I don't have enough fingers and toes to tell you how many outs we have given up and runs allowed because of this.  

I tell my guys that they are throwing from point A (where they are) to point B (home, third, second) and the cut / relay guy is there to help.  He's not a point in the line we are making.  We practice this a lot mainly by having OF throw without a cut relay guy initially.  Teach them to throw all the way to where the play is.  I have my cut / relay guys stand and see where each guys throw first bounces so they get an idea of where they need to position themselves.  We still want the overall idea of 2/3 to 1/3 of the throw being made by OF.

All that being said - last week my LF had to throw to the plate in our 2nd round playoff game.  Guy rounds third and my LF comes up throwing this majestic arc of a throw that's easily 10 feet over my 3B head.  It was beautiful arc that geometry teachers would use for years to teach something.  Soon as I saw it leave his hand I turned to watch the hitter round first and head to second easily.  

So back to the coaching when we start summer ball in a couple of weeks.  Maybe it will stick this time.  

I stress that the throw must be visually cuttable. Hence through the cut. If it needs to be cut it can be. If it doesn’t need to be it doesn’t get cut. As a base runner if I see that the baseball can not be cut I can take the bag on the throw. If the throw is cuttable I must hold in case it is. How many times have we seen a runner take second on a cut 4 that is not on a line and visually too high to be potential cut? 

The whole purpose of the cut game is really simple. Keep a single a single, double a double, triple a triple and don’t give the opponent bases. It must be taught. It must be practiced. It then must be executed. 

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