Catchers calling pitches

Alright so there may be an underlying issue here, but i need some help to deal with the present situation. None of the catchers I’ve ever thrown to (in high school) have showed much interest in learning how to set up batters/pitches. Personally, I don’t mind getting signs from the catcher but if they’re just throwing down random signs I have to shake them off quite a bit and gets distracting. So what do I do? Most of the time I just tell them not to worry about what I throw and just concentrate on catching it but I’m sure at somepoint along the line a catcher is going to want to know what I’m throwing.

I agree with you. Many catchers I throw to dont mix up the pitches good enough and dont change there pitch calling due to the batter. For example, if a batter swings late on a fastball he may want me to throw a changeup on the next pitch. I think the best thing to do is talk with your catcher before games. Tell him situations when you like to throw certian pitches.

Well the thing is that some pithers tend not to listen to the catchers. When i catch i would like to be in control of the pitchs so i kno which pitchis coming and where so i wont make an error which could end up being costly. So i amstaight up with the pitcher saying i call the shots to prevent any mistakes. The pitcher i think should go to the catcher and tell him to make the calls.

well yea i c that when my friends catch. They tend to throw fastballs or curveball 2 or 3 times in a row. I like to change it up a bit. For example, i think my best way to fool them is like this
4 seam fastball low & inside
sinker middle & inside ( so then it will tend to drop more after)
offspeed curveball outside
i think it tends to fool many people

i think that if the pitcher has a good enough idea of wat he can throw, nd where then the pitcher should call the pitches. Although i do like it when my catcher is 1 step ahead of me. Unfortunately our pitchin coach calls all of the pitches and he is in love with the curveball, which isnt always to good cause my best pitch is my change up. I think that coaches shud call pitches when they see a whole or gap in teh hitter swing, but they shud pay attention to the game, when a pitcher hasnt thrown a curveball for a strike durrin the game then it is time to call a different pitch.

I have to tell you guys that in my years of coaching at the high school level, no catchers are calling their own pitches. Coaches almost always send in the pitches. The reasons are two-fold. Firstly, the coach takes responsibility for whats being thrown in different situations. Secondly, I always taught the catchers to think about what was being called and why. This way they were learning to handle some situations. When my catchers are seniors, they get lots of lessons on handling pitchers and calling pitches. Anytime we had a blow out, and sometimes not in our favor, I would have a catcher call signals. If you’re not seeing this yet, you probably will be soon.

Coachric

Years ago before I was promoted to throwing BP to teenagers , my thought always was “if I give up a tater on a pitch called by a catcher , they’re not taking the catcher out” . The last thing you need is a catcher with a big ego who feels shown up if the pitcher shakes him off . There is alot of “feel” to pitching , and I would never want a pitcher to throw something he hasn’t bought in to . With that in mind , I believe the catcher is offering up a suggestion only , and if you’ve done a good job teaching (and if they are good students) they will ultimately agree more often than not .

With that in mind , I think it’s important to educate both the catcher and pitcher to the point that they can run the show … as a coach , it requires alot of self confidence … but remember our job is kinda like that of a parent … teach so they can make good decisions later on when we are not there to hold their hand.

Sorry if I offended any catchers out there … but it is the pitchers show .

Thankfully my coach isn’t one who calls every pitch. He’s one of those guys who will give you a pitch idea in certain situations but he wouldn’t force me to throw something. He puts a lot of trust in the pitchers and catchers to do their own thing as long as it’s working. I wish there was some way I could let the catcher know what I’m throwing so I don’t leave him hanging. I guess the best thing would be to just work with a catcher enough so that you get to know tendencies and such.

never be afraid to shake him off till you get what you want … but make sure you ultimately throw the pitch you have 100% confidence in. i actually teach my pitchers to occasionally shake off the catcher , even if the pitch he wants has been called … and when he eventually comes back to the original signal , nod and go . putting a little doubt in the mind of a hitter is a good thing .

Are we talking about high school pitchers here? Feel for pitching? Most high school pitchers I have worked with in over 30 tears in the game are young throwers, not pitchers. Part of the learning experience is seeing what the coach is calling, learning what works in certain situations. There have been exceptional young pitchers that had the poise and maturity to be called pitchers, but most college coaches or pros would agree that high school pitchers are only babes yet. I haven’t seen it too often, but when I do, its usually a young confident catcher giving signs, and his pitchers are shaking them off and before long we know whats coming. Maybe some college coaches can post here with their opinion on pitch calling.

Coachric

I’ve coached on the high school and D1 level and I agree , often high school pitchers ( for that matter , college as well ) are “babes” and have not yet developed mentally as “pitchers” . My point here is that sometimes allowing a kid the chance to make a decision - even the wrong one - provides the best opportunity for long term development . What a great teaching moment … 2-0 , runner on 2nd with the MAN at the plate , and the kid grooves one resulting in a rope . As hard as it is to watch , in between innings is when the lesson begins - 'now son , what else could you have done with that 2-0 pitch … who would you have rather pitched to, the MAN or the .250 hitter on deck" ? As much as I love to call pitches , from 13 years up I like giving them a chance … lets stop holding their hands and let them grow into pitchers !

  • if a catcher is smart enough to call pitches , why isn’t the pitcher ?

Good points terprhp. Nothing wrong with teaching in a dfferent fashion. As an assistant, I have watched many head coaches sweat about winnng and job security. This could be the biggest reason for the coach wanting full responsibility.

Coachric

“Most of the time I just tell them not to worry about what I throw and just concentrate on catching it but I’m sure at somepoint along the line a catcher is going to want to know what I’m throwing.”

The above is what caught my attention and was unsettling to read. Though I WAS a pitcher and am now a pitching coach, I sure wouldn’t want to be behind the plate expecting a hook or change-up and suddenly a 2-seam 80+ mph fastball is headed my way.

Obviously somebody has failed here - from the coaching on down. To me, a coach’s responsibility is to have both his pitcher and catcher on the same page.

I agree that pitching coaches should call the majority of the pitches when these two position players are young and “uneducated” (referent to which pitch to throw in which situation.) However, as they progress through experience and instruction, the players’ and coach’s roles should gradually be reversed, with the exception being a “critical” stressful moment where a coach believes that neither player possesses the ability or confidence to make the proper pitch choice.

For the majority of pitchers and catchers, I believe that this should start around the time they are of babe ruth league age remembering that it certainly would depend on how “educated” the coaching staff was as well as the accumulated knowledge and maturity of both the pitcher and catcher.

Additionally, as many coaches (and some young pitchers) already do, keeping a book on hitters your team has faced to review their strengths and weaknesses often proves to be invaluable, particularly when you know your club is going to face that opponent again. Going over the their line-up before the next game is played, as well as having your pitcher and catcher quickly go through the next hitters in the batting order between innings, helps greatly…as most coaches already know.

For pitchers and catchers, it’s not just about proper mechanics and how to play the position. It’s also about learning what pitch to throw and when to throw it. A coach who makes ALL the calls ALL the time prevents those athletes from developing that critical knowledge.

A coach who has imparted that skill and now “trusts” the ability level of his player, particularly his catcher, should allow him to call more and more of the pitches…even if a mistake is made. As terrhp stated “It’s a great teaching moment…”

To me, seeing the expression of satisfaction on a catcher’s face (mirrored by the face of the pitcher) who called the proper pitch in the proper location at the proper moment that ended with the proper result, is what coaching/teaching is all about.

i catch and pitch my coach and i rotate calling pitches every other inning. i no to rotate inside if they r crowding and go away if they r off the plate. if a catcher isnt moving around let him no. some catchers set up in the middle because they believe that a pitcher will miss bad and they wont be able to block the pitch. i am accurate but i don t throw that hard. my catcher nos to trust me that i will hit where sets up.let him no u can hit the target

I have my own catcher, that I pitch to whenever I practice, and sometimes in games. He doesn’t have the best arm, nor a bat so he was platooned with our other catcher he basically lacked skill all together, but could hit better. The catcher I didn’t really get along with was an ego-maniac, and if I shook him off would just repeat the sign he called. After several mound visits, and a coach visit to the mound asking why we were going so slow, and a conversation with the coach he no longer caught for me. Now, my catcher, who also happens to know more than most high school level coaches about baseball, and who happens to be my best friend seems like he is inside my head while I pitch. Whatever he calls, is usually what I have gripped in my glove, and on the occassion he puts down a sign for a pitch I was thinking about, a lot of the times it works. He is a smart kid, and very aware of the batters strength’s/weaknesses whereas the other egomaniac catcher was a cookie cutter. Every 0-2 count was a curveball, every 1-2 count was an upstairs fastball. I wouldn’t even aim for his mitt anymore, I’d pick my own target… usually a peice of his equipment.
Moral of the story. Build a good relationship with your catcher. Talk w/ him before and after outings, and during practices or BP sessions. He will pick up on your habits and just make things run smoother if you let him into your pitching world.

[quote=“CHSWarrior”]Alright so there may be an underlying issue here, but i need some help to deal with the present situation. None of the catchers I’ve ever thrown to (in high school) have showed much interest in learning how to set up batters/pitches. Personally, I don’t mind getting signs from the catcher but if they’re just throwing down random signs I have to shake them off quite a bit and gets distracting. So what do I do? Most of the time I just tell them not to worry about what I throw and just concentrate on catching it but I’m sure at somepoint along the line a catcher is going to want to know what I’m throwing.[/quote]you have to work with the catcher every day on pitches, have him do situations and stuff like that, say to him if theres a 0-2 count what pitch will i throw, of course its a high fastball, then go low with a curve or change, but he has to know you better if he cant call pitches, me and my catcher we could go a game without calling signs because we know what im goin to throw…

Tanner Lorenz wrote:
you have to work with the catcher every day on pitches, have him do situations and stuff like that, say to him if theres a 0-2 count what pitch will i throw, of course its a high fastball, then go low with a curve or change, but he has to know you better if he cant call pitches, me and my catcher we could go a game without calling signs because we know what im goin to throw…

yes and no u have a plan for certain counts but u have to vary wat u throw on certain counts. u cant throw a curve every 1-2 count u have to mix it up

Whenever pitch, I like to have the catcher set up gameplans for batters so that I can just focus on pitching. But that requires a lot of trust with your catcher and before you do that you would have to work with them for a long time.

I dont know how you are in high school and haven’t seen catchers calling pitches, i pitch in middle school and my catchers have called pitches for me starting last year in little league. I like the catcher calling pitches because it is less for me to think about.

I never use signs, i figure that i give too much to the hitter if i shake off the catcher for the first pitcher and i work more efficiantly and go at my own pace when i choose my own pitches.