Bullpen Catcher

Bullpen Catcher

A bullpen catcher can be an asset to a club, even if not part of the club’s roster. And here’s how it works.

Lets say that the league rules mandate a fifteen player roster, BUT, there’s no stipulation with respect to additional organizational staff like head coach, assistant coach(s), team manager, equipment manager, scorekeeper and one or two other staff members like team photographer, team sportswriter, etc.

Select a promising catcher from a lower level who is not on a roster and designate that individual as an assistant bullpen coach. Make sure to outfit this individual in the same uniform, or apparel,
as the other coaches and staff members. DO NOT suit that person in a player’s uniform unless all the other coaches and assistants are wearing uniforms. Also, this individual must stay in the area usually associated to where the bullpen is - even if that area is nothing more than a stretch of grass in back of the teams bench. Also, keep in mind that you’re relying on this person to do a very important job, and that is:
1.) Be prepared on a moments notice to start warming up pitchers.
2.) Be prepared to stay in catcher’s gear for most, if not all, of the game.
3.) Be prepared to mark down just how accurate each pitcher is, in the bullpen, prior to entering a game.
4.) Be prepared to communicate the quality of each pitch category.

fastball by location = upper right %, lower right %, upper left %, lower left %
breaking ball quality = inside, outside.
off-speed pitch (s) quality.
5.) Be prepared to give an overall assessment of the pitcher doing bullpen duty.

A bullpen catcher is a must for any club wanting a well rounded organization. This catcher is a vital link between the pitcher(s) in question and the pitching coach, head coach, and other staff coaches. Knowing before hand what’s-what, lessens the chances for surprises later on from the pitcher who’s called in.

However, players pulled for the fielding team - say replacing the pitcher with the current second baseman, really doesn’t give the bullpen catcher much of an opportunity to contribute.

In addition, check with the rules of the league, the school board policy’s, any restrictions imposed by a governing body (athletic association), and most importantly any insurance stipulations that might be imposed.

Coach B.

great post. a bullepn catcher is a definite. we always have designated bullpen catchers game day. make a big deal out of it and these kids will take pride doing this. we use them in pregame infield so starting catcher can warm pitcher up. make them keep chin guards on entire time. im telling you it can become a pride thing for a young future catcher.

John you knocked it out of the park in amazing detail. Thanks

Just one thing, a warning to all catchers, bullpen and otherwise: Beware the pitcher who wants to work on his knuckleball! You’re going to have to put on all, and I mean all, the tools of ignorance, just as if you were going to catch a knucikleball pitcher in a game. There was an incident in one National League game in 1961; Jim Brosnan tells of the catcher in the bullpen who, just before the game started, came up to the dugout with a towel held to one side of his face. Brosnan, wanting to make a joke, said to him “Finally said the wrong thing, I see”, a reference to this catcher’s tendency to put his foot in his mouth at times. The catcher uncovered a badly split lip and snarled “Don’t be funny! That d—Purkey! He HAS to work on his knuckleball before the game!” He was talking about pitcher Bob Purkey who had acquired a knuckler and—yes, you guessed it, wanted to work on it in the bullpen.
So the bullpen catcher has to be aware of this. :slight_smile: 8)