With runner at second, MIF gives pitcher signal for # of looks

How common is it in college for MIFs to signal the pitcher how many looks he should give to a runner at second base?

My favorite D-1 team does it.  But if I coached college, I wouldn't do it.

 

Here's an explanation I found on-line:

The Complete Guide to Pitching, by Derek Johnson:
 
For the middle infielders and the pitcher to work as a unit, a system must be put in place.  The shortstop should communicate with the pitcher and the second baseman via hand or verbal signals about how many looks back the pitcher will give or how long the pitcher will hold the ball.  This will give the middle infielders a solid idea about when or how long to hold the the runner at second bases and when to retreat back to their position.  It will also provide the pitcher with a plan for varying his looks and counts between each pitch.   page 145

 

Original Post

I don't read that as the MIF's controlling how many looks he should give a runner at second.  I read that to say that by signal, on our team it's verbal, the MIF's should let the pitcher know if they think the pitcher has a shot at getting this kid.  They give an audible signal every time and some of those signals mean look back, wait X seconds then throw without stopping to look...I'll be there.  Or it means don't bother with this guy, look and then pitch.

 

This allows the MIF's to get back to their position in time for the pitch, since they hold the guy on until the last possible minute and the runner is intended to stay close because he doesn't know if they are going to stay with him, or get back to their position.

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

I don't read that as the MIF's controlling how many looks he should give a runner at second.  I read that to say that by signal... the MIF's should let the pitcher know if they think the pitcher has a shot at getting this kid.

Your explanation could make sense in 12yo baseball, where there are a relatively large number of pick attempts to second base.

It doesn't make sense at the college level, where pick attempts to second base are rare.

Originally Posted by freddy77:
Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

I don't read that as the MIF's controlling how many looks he should give a runner at second.  I read that to say that by signal... the MIF's should let the pitcher know if they think the pitcher has a shot at getting this kid.

Your explanation could make sense in 12yo baseball, where there are a relatively large number of pick attempts to second base.

It doesn't make sense at the college level, where pick attempts to second base are rare.

Okay then I am with the OP then...why would MIF's control how often a pitcher looks at second???

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

 

Okay then I am with the OP then...why would MIF's control how often a pitcher looks at second???

For the reason given in the original post:

 

"This will give the middle infielders a solid idea about when or how long to hold the the runner at second bases and when to retreat back to their position.  It will also provide the pitcher with a plan for varying his looks and counts between each pitch.   page 145"

 

Those seem like good goals.   But I don't want to do anything that could disturb my pitcher's rhythm. Having the MIF dictate the pitcher's looks and holds does carry that risk, IMO.

 

 

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:
Originally Posted by freddy77:
Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

I don't read that as the MIF's controlling how many looks he should give a runner at second.  I read that to say that by signal... the MIF's should let the pitcher know if they think the pitcher has a shot at getting this kid.

Your explanation could make sense in 12yo baseball, where there are a relatively large number of pick attempts to second base.

It doesn't make sense at the college level, where pick attempts to second base are rare.

Okay then I am with the OP then...why would MIF's control how often a pitcher looks at second???

It allows MIF'ers and pitcher to work better as a unit. It's a huge advantage to the ss and 2b to be able to consistently get a jump on their break back to their position. The pitcher could just as easily be the one to give the signs, but that's usually where the runner is looking.

Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:
Originally Posted by freddy77:
Originally Posted by CaCO3Girl:

I don't read that as the MIF's controlling how many looks he should give a runner at second.  I read that to say that by signal... the MIF's should let the pitcher know if they think the pitcher has a shot at getting this kid.

Your explanation could make sense in 12yo baseball, where there are a relatively large number of pick attempts to second base.

It doesn't make sense at the college level, where pick attempts to second base are rare.

Okay then I am with the OP then...why would MIF's control how often a pitcher looks at second???

If you don't do this, at least at HS and below, the runner on second can pick up the pitcher's timing and use it to steal or at least get a better lead.  Having the SS or 2nd baseman give the pitcher a sign for number of look allows the infielders to anticipate the pitch, and gives the pitcher one less thing to worry about. 

 

As to the OP, do college teams do it the same way? I don't know.  But why wouldn't you do it?

I've never hear of this strategy.  I'll have to ask my son about it, but, to be honest, he'll probably laugh.  I think, generally, it's up to the pitcher to control the running game and keep the runner off balance.  I've heard of plays being called to pick off a runner, but never how many times to look over.

 

A pitcher needs to mix things up.  Sometimes quick to the plate, sometimes slow to the plate.  Sometimes look over once, sometimes look over 3 times, sometimes just step off, etc.  My son picked off like 4 guys from 2nd during the fall.  He did it by doing all the above.  One time he purposely looked once and went to the plate several times.  When he thought he had the runner anticipating that pattern, he looked twice.  On the 2nd look, the runner was making a move for 3rd.  Got gunned down on a 1-5.

 

 

Originally Posted by freddy77:

If you don't do this, at least at HS and below, the runner on second can pick up the pitcher's timing and use it to steal or at least get a better lead

 

Do you mean you've seen a high school team have the MIF signal the looks and holds?

 

 

While your question was directed to someone else, I will answer for you.

 

The answer is yes.  The better high school programs might do this, along with many college programs.  Generally speaking, your shortstop is the defensive captain at pretty much every level...no?

Originally Posted by freddy77:

If you don't do this, at least at HS and below, the runner on second can pick up the pitcher's timing and use it to steal or at least get a better lead

 

Do you mean you've seen a high school team have the MIF signal the looks and holds?

 

 

Yes, some not all.

 

"True Story"

Several years ago in Sydney Australia with our American teams, Pat Kelly, Mariners scout and former NY Yankee and Cardinals infielder ask me to join him at the Olympic Stadium. He was providing instruction to the Aussie infielders from the NSW State teams.

After telling the infielders to field the ground ball with the left ear, he told the story of playing on the Cardinal team, managed by Tony R.

Tony said when Ricky Henderson is on 2b, "hold him on".

 

Pat made several moves to 2b, then back to his regular position. The pitcher made one, two looks. Of course Rickey timed the look back and Pat "clap" and his move back.

 

Ricky stole 3b and at the end of the inning, Tony's glance and his verbal statement said it all.  I said - "HOLD HIM ON" like a 1st baseman.

 

What adjustment can a second baseman make to avoid the batter from hitting the ball thru the vacant infield?

 

Bob

 

In answer to high school team who have the SS signal "looks" to the pitcher....I know of at least 3 in our area.  One of them being MY team.

 

We don't like to have MIF out of position because they're running to the bag while the pitcher is throwing to home.  We found it much easier to have a signal to our Pitcher to look 1 or 2 or 3 times.  All he has to do is do that, then throw his pitch.  He knows his MIF will be where they need to be, he doesn't have to "wait" while they get back in position, and he doesn't have to think about the runner as much.

 

And not that pitchers are dumb, but we do think that it takes a mental burden off of them.  They look back a certain number of times, and if they don't need to try to pick him off, they throw to the plate.  At the same time, they don't have to try to think about how many looks they did the pitch before, and try to do a different number of looks. Our SS remembers what he siganled, and he changes it up.

 

One of the other teams that I know does it has won our big school divison state championship something like 3 out of the last 7 years, and been in the finals all but one of the last 7 or 8 years.

 

I have done it both ways. When we have called the # of looks, we had and active middle infield that moved around a lot to hold runners. Other years (and what we are currently doing) we are very quiet in the middle. We want the runner to forget about us and become confident/unaware of our MI. Then we will pick.

 

Both ways have been successful for us. Pick what suits your style of play I guess.

Well, I just got around to asking my son about this scenario and it looks like I'm going to need to eat some crow.  He told me for the first time this year, his team is doing this.  They do it by non-verbal sign.  They have a sign from the SS that will tell the pitcher 1 look or 2 looks.  Add another gesture and it tells the pitcher how many looks, then run the "daylight" play or inside move play.  Of course the pitcher has the option to change things up or step off if he sees something else going on he doesn't like, but the plays are there when there is a runner on 2nd.

 

So, I was wrong and my son didn't laugh at me when I asked.    He's a junior at a D2 and this is the first year he's done this.  

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×