Covering First

I’ve had this discussion with a lot of different Pitcher’s and Coaches and pretty much get 2 standard answers, so I thought I’d ask on here to see what the consensus is.

When you have to take the throw at first, how do you get to the bag and what foot work do you do in relationship to the bag?

I run to the line about 2-4 feet in front of the bag then run up the line over the bag and I call for the ball ASAP so I dont have to deal with stepping on the bag and catching the ball at the same time.

A lot of 1B seem kind of shy about throwing the ball at me so early but it’s better that way.

I totally agree Spence! Most 1Bmen I’ve dealt with look really unsure when I’m calling for the ball so early as well.

Certainly the earlier you get the ball the better. Personally I’ve always been taught wherever I’ve played to get your hands up and be ready for the throw. It also shows the 1b that your ready to take the throw. Also, it’s vital to stay on the inside part of the bag. I’ve seen some real nasty injuries that have costed pitchers several games, and even one cost him his season. This makes it almost a must to hit the bag with your right foot.

Yeah staying on the inside part of the bag is very important. You don’t want a broken ankle (or the runner to get hurt that way either).

I call for the ball once the 1B has the ball so that I get their attention early.

It depends on where the first baseman fields the ball. If it is right at him
or to his left go to the line about 10 feet or so from first, then up the line. Call for the ball early and tag the base with the right foot. Then immediately turn inside to prevent getting spiked. If the first baseman
has to go to his right to field the ball. go straight to the base and take
the throw just like a first baseman. This eliminates the first baseman
trying to hit the pitcher with a wing shot, and the pitcher does not have
to look for the ball and bag at the same time. This is especially true when
the first baseman is playing back.

Being a first baseman as my secondary postition, I’ve really learned through experience what/when to do.

As a pitcher, I break to the 1st base line as soon as the ball is hit, and then, when I start to run parallel with the line (about 5 feet from the bag), I call for the ball. Calling for the ball is very important IMO, because when playing with different first baseman, you really don’t know if they will know when you are ready to catch the ball.

i put my glove up as soon as i leave the mound and run pararrell with the foul line


Is your 1B coached to throw on the move, or after his feet are planted?

Is your 1B coached to throw to you only after you reach the bag?

Is your 1B coached to throw to you while your on the move?

Is your 1b coached to throw to the bag (glove high) based on a distance relationship between you and the bag?

Are YOU coached to run along the 1B line, then shuffle step a short distance to the bag and feel the bag, or look and step on the run?

Coach B.

Good discussion … regardless of the mechanics, the key imo is that is has to become instinct for the pitcher to break toward 1B on ANY ball to the right side. So many times I see close plays that are close only because the pitcher didn’t immediately react. You can’t assume anything, ball right side “get over there” !

i agree with terp. it should be instinctive for pitchers to go towards first on grounders to the right