I’ll try to keep this as short as possible…
As a left handed high school pitcher, I’ve always had a fairly decent / decisive and snappy pick off move to first base ever since I started pitching.
However, as I have gotten older I’ve noticed one problem that I haven’t quite been able to solve by myself yet; that being - how to do a pick off to first base when I have a curveball grip in my hand.
Pitching from the stretch, I always select the grip for my pitch when I come to the “set” position. When there is a runner on first, I either quick pitch ( I don’t life my right leg high) or I bring it up to form a 90 degree “L” with the ground, not moving my right foot across my left knee. This gives me flexibility to initiate a pick off move if I see the runner leaning / stealing, or continue with my delivery to the plate.
If I do decide to go with the “leg kick” delivery, and I see the runner starting to steal, and I have a 4 seam / 2 seam fastball grip in my hand, there typically aren’t any issues. I typically can pick the guy off pretty easily from there. However if I was planning to throw a curveball, and see the runner stealing, what is the proper way to do a pick off without throwing a curveball at my first baseman?
My leg kick is typically pretty slow, so by the time I’ve thrown my curveball, the runner is always safe no matter what… for the most part.
The only solutions I have come up with are:
Don’t throw curveballs… (least effective)
Only “quick pitch/side stride” when throwing a curveball (could become predictable)
Don’t throw curveballs with a runner on first (fairly easy to time my fastball)
Risk adjusting the grip mid - pickoff (I feel like this could end up being a little bit distracting and potentially send the ball over the first baseman’s head…)
Throw a Curveball at the First Baseman (risk the first baseman not being prepared and missing the catch.)
I’m sure the answer to this is fairly easy to figure out, and I’m just missing something pretty obvious here.
So whatever you have to offer to help me out would be greatly appreciated (And could save my season! This is going to be my first year pitching on varsity!)
Thanks so much for your help,