Should you ever hold a runner on 3B. It has happened a few times this year. My answer is Never, you are sacrificing a fielder being out of position to make a play on the ball. He might creep close to the bag to keep the runner close to the bag but not take up a first baseman type hold. We have a young, somewhat inexperienced 3B so I thought that the coach would motion to him to move away but just looked at him and said nothing. Situations when this has happened have varied form early in the game with runners on 2B/3B to late in the game down by 3 runs with bases loaded. Am I missing something??

Original Post

PA2016, you didn't get a response because you answered your own question.  You would never do it.  Where is the runner going to go?  A "vicinity" hold would be the most you would give. 

Cheesy, please explain why you would do this.  Maybe there is something I can learn but never saw it at any level and can't imagine any reason to make the 5-6 hole way bigger than it needs to be. 

Last edited by cabbagedad

Well, I asked because our HS HC keeps doing this, in fact it happened again today. I don't know everything so I wanted to put it out there to you folks because there is a ton of knowledgeable guys/gals on here. Maybe I was missing something and this HC was some sort of new age baseball guru.

Sure. Let me emphasize here that we have only done this a few times. With a lefty up and runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs we want to hold the runner close to have a better play at home. We see very few lefties who hit the ball towards that 5-6 gap and especially on jv if it is hit there runner probably scores no matter where you play.

Cheesy, you do understand that PA2016 is actually talking about holding that runner like a 1b, right?  You would never do this.  If you need to get that out at home, you have your infield in.  3b is roughly bag level deep but 3-4 steps off the bag.  Hovering in that vicinity will prevent too large a lead from R3.  He will not score on a fielded ground ball unless it is a complete nubber.

Very true.  Fair enough.

 

Curious though, your background says NAIA and D2 player.  Did you ever see this done at either of those programs?  And what advantage are you gaining with your 3b anchored to the bag as opposed to off 3-4 steps?

Last edited by cabbagedad

From 11u through college I've never seen a coach who knows what he's doing hold a runner on third like a first baseman would hold a runner on first. I've seen some poor coaches do it in 11u to 14u. I've seen them hold runners on second too.

I love the way people on this forum always go into attack mode when someone disagrees with someone else or says something halfway unconventional and they are poor coaches.

 

Why do coaches hold a runner on 1st when a runner is on 2nd. While the situation is not totally similar it is a question I often wonder about. At the high school level I see way more of these situations.

 

Eventually we may get burned on this the half dozen times we've done it in three years. Like I say to each his own.

@ cabbage dad

 

It isn't something that I would want to do a lot.  I did experience a couple times in college the ball was never  hit to 3b side but we did throw a quick runner out at home. Whether it helped keep the runner one step closer thus letting us make a close play I don't know.  

 

I do know it probably helped my jv team once and our varsity team at east once. Haven't gotten stung by it yet.

 

I see it a lot on the high school level, and I don't mean once a game especially at jv levels.

 

To answer your question personally I think seeing it as regularly as I do, I think coaches are not confident in their kids moving during a play. When my college coach used it  and when we used it, it was as a called play. In all the cases the 3b moves more like 1b as ball is pitched.

Last edited by Cheesy Curve
Originally Posted by Cheesy Curve:

 

Why do coaches hold a runner on 1st when a runner is on 2nd. While the situation is not totally similar it is a question I often wonder about. At the high school level I see way more of these situations.

 

You hold the runner on 1st to prevent him from reaching 3rd or scoring on a hit or extra base hit.  This isn't a risk with a runner on 3rd.

Yes i know this, it was rhetorical question. Although against most batters the hole left between first and second baseman in that situation is much easier to hit for a eighty than the hole between third and shortstop is for a lefty to hit (many mlb cant hit that hole that's why teams play the shift.  Holding on 1st is also trying to keep runner from going to third. The half dozen or so situations where I have seen it or used was an attempt to keep a speedy runner locked on 3rd in possible game winning or tying situation.

 

BTW 20 years ago playing a shift was crazy.

I'll be honest, I've wondered why there aren't more pick off moves at 3B with a RH pitcher.  

I've seen games in high school where the 3B runner was getting lazy and probably could have been picked off.  Catcher could give the signal so that the third baseman doesn't have to be on the bag the entire at bat. 

Holding the runner on 3B looks so "little league."  You can control the lead at third by the snap throw from the catcher to 3B.  Should stop the runner from getting too aggressive.

 

Of course, be prepared for the launch into LF.  Been there, done that. 

Last edited by Golfman25

@ lion baseball

 

3b is I think more psychological issue to try pickoffs. Mistakes just don't lead to advancing but to runs as well if there is a mistake.

 

 

Thanks Goldman25 now I'm not only a poor coach but little league as well.  At least I'm pretty sure that wasn't a compliment. I use the hidden ball trick every now and then as well so I guess I'm an amateur to.

Hold them at 3rd NO! pick them YES. with 2 outs this might be risky, but with no outs you might consider the runner is gonna score anyway (unless your flamethrower is on the hill) and might as well take a shot at him.

I am big on keeping the double play in order so I almost always hold the runner at 1st. It also gives my catcher a chance.

Originally Posted by Cheesy Curve:

@ lion baseball

 

3b is I think more psychological issue to try pickoffs. Mistakes just don't lead to advancing but to runs as well if there is a mistake.

 

 

Thanks Goldman25 now I'm not only a poor coach but little league as well.  At least I'm pretty sure that wasn't a compliment. I use the hidden ball trick every now and then as well so I guess I'm an amateur to.

It wasn't a shot at you at all.  You make a good argument for the specific situation to do it.  I was just referring to our freshman 3B who does all the time because that's what he was taught in "little league."

Why do coaches hold a runner on 1st when a runner is on 2nd?  

 

I don't see it a lot.

 

When I do see it, I assume they're trying to keep the double play in order.  But it makes no sense. With r1/r2 (a runner in scoring position), the priority becomes keep-the-ball-in-the-infield/avoid-the-big-inning. Yet, they've got three infielders playing out of position (the first baseman, plus the two MIFs cheating in and towards the bag).

 

 

Last edited by freddy77
Originally Posted by Cheesy Curve:

It suprises me to, we see it in our little and youth league as well.  It suprises me that a a previous poster has seen this rarely.

 

Holding runners at 3B? I don't feel the reward outweighs the risk at the level I coach.  If the runner is doing things correctly, his primary lead isn't worthy of being held on anyway. 

 

In certain levels of baseball, I can see this as a viable strategy but I'm doubt it would work against higher level teams.

I've done it plenty with situations where I don't want R3 getting a big advanatage and I'm having F5 guard the line anyway. I don't see any disadvantage in that situation.

What situations dictate cutting down a runner's lead at 3B?

 

Ball in dirt - probably not going to score

Ball to backstop - probably will score

Fly ball with less than two outs - lead doesn't matter

Squeeze - so many things to eliminate this

1.  Have pitcher vary deliver to plate and outright hold the ball until time is called

2.  Pitchout on a break to the plate - if he has a big enough lead then you can back pick with catcher throwing to 3Bman

3.  Go from stretch and not windup

4.  Run an actual pick play with 3B or SS

5.  Quick step off to see if a squeeze may be on

 

I'm forgetting some but my point is I don't know of any real situation where holding a runner on at 3B is worth the risk / reward that redbird is talking about.  

Holding a runner on 1B with a runner at 2B usually looks bad.  Maybe the only reason would be if the runner at 1B represented the winning run with two outs and a full count.

 

Holding a runner on 3B always looks bad.  When I see it I always think someone doesn't know what they are doing.  If there is reason to hold that runner you play closer to the bag.  Getting in the first baseman hold runner position at 3B just looks awful.  

Just to qualify my answer a bit (I guess I didn't read the posts that closely), I don't have F5 standing there like F3 would hold an R1. My guy is usually hugging the line three steps or so back and feinting in enough to hold R3 close. IN fact, with 1&3 when playing summer under OBR rules, I often pick to third with idea, not of picking R3, but of going straight to second on a stealing R1. So, that's another sitch where my F5 is close by.

Personally I don't like it and would never do it. That being said, Mike Matheny thinks there are situations where it could work. Carpenter was holding a runner on Opening night at Wrigley with Rizzo up. Shocked me.

 

 

 

Originally Posted by roothog66:

Just to qualify my answer a bit (I guess I didn't read the posts that closely), I don't have F5 standing there like F3 would hold an R1. My guy is usually hugging the line three steps or so back and feinting in enough to hold R3 close. ...

Yeah, Root, that's the rub in this conversation. Huge difference.

 

Ironhorse, any chance of a video clip?  Would love to see this.  Actually holding him on like a 1b?

Thanks for all the replies, Im glad to see I wasn't loosing my mind. My son and other players have approached him about similar things and were told to stay in thier lane. It is an unforunate situation.

Originally Posted by ironhorse:

. Carpenter was holding a runner on Opening night at Wrigley with Rizzo up. Shocked me.

 

 

 

I saw that too. Wacky.

Originally Posted by freddy77:
Originally Posted by ironhorse:

. Carpenter was holding a runner on Opening night at Wrigley with Rizzo up. Shocked me.

 

 

 

I saw that too. Wacky.

They where talking about that on the Cubs vs Rockies broadcast yesterday.  Cubs had the shift on and the runner on third was getting way down the line.  They moved Castro closer to 3B to keep the guy "honest."

Originally Posted by roothog66:

Just to qualify my answer a bit (I guess I didn't read the posts that closely), I don't have F5 standing there like F3 would hold an R1. My guy is usually hugging the line three steps or so back and feinting in enough to hold R3 close. IN fact, with 1&3 when playing summer under OBR rules, I often pick to third with idea, not of picking R3, but of going straight to second on a stealing R1. So, that's another sitch where my F5 is close by.

Oh yeah this is definitely OK.  This makes sense.  In the case of the Cubs and Cardinals - how many times will they run this this year?  Probably not enough to truly embrace it as a way of doing things.  They are so advanced someone saw or knows something we probably don't that makes it necessary.  Doesn't mean we need to adopt it at our lower levels.

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