Pitcher/catcher exchanging signs


#1

A couple pitchers on my team don’t like shaking off the catcher on pitch selection. If you’re in the same boat, one suggestion is NOT to shake.

Instead, have your catcher put down a sign and wait a sec. If you don’t start your delivery, he’ll put down a second sign and wait a sec. If you don’t start your delivery, he’ll put down a third sign and wait a sec, etc.

This way, you’re not shaking him off and, with a little practice, you’ll start getting quick with it and it’ll be a seamless process. I did this when I pitched instead of shaking my head … I just stared in until I got the sign of the pitch I wanted to throw. Helped me work faster, stay focused.

What do you like to do? Shake, no shake, something else?


#2

Steve, I never had a problem with that. What we did, my catcher would keep things simple: one finger for the slider (that was my best pitch), two for the curve, three for the knuckle-curve, and for any of my extensive selection of changeups he would just stick out his mitt and wait for the ball! And I would signal him when I was going to use the crossfire—I would pull my cap down over my forehead.
A lot of pitchers will do what is called “shaking the catcher around”—they would shake off everything, and when they returned to the top that was the pitch they were going to throw. Frankly, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. And when you have a pitcher who throws just one pitch, the catcher doesn’t even have to bother; he’ll just position the mitt where he wants the pitch and wait. (Like our friend Mo.) 8)


#3

I shake to get a different pitch and wipe my glove down my leg for a different location


#4

we have two options: wipe up/down on chest or wipe up/down on leg. One of these is a decoy (I won’t say which one we use), the one that is active wipes the pitch selection up/down so the catcher doesn’t have to keep giving signs the pitcher just tells him what he wants instead. Catcher gave you a 5 and you want to throw a 3? wipe down twice, wait a second for the catcher to register it, then throw.


#5

I prefer to only stare for a location change. So if the catcher calls fastball away and I want it in, I’ll just stare and have him go in. I’ll shake to get to other pitches.


#6

I stare sometimes pretty long if I got a guy on base to disrupt the runners timing


#7

This a little off topic. We have a sign to give our pitchers for shaking off a pitch. Just to keep the batter thinking. 0-2 shake off must be fastball??


#8

No, that’s not off topic at all—it’s very pertinent. This is just one of many ways to keep a batter guessing. It reminds me of a time when Whitey Ford and Johnny Sain were talking, and Sain said that he would like ten of Allie Reynolds’ fast balls. When Ford asked him what he would do with them, Sain replied that he would throw them one after another at the start of the game and then let the batter tear his hair out by the roots trying to figure out if any more were coming.
I didn’t have a fast ball to speak of, so I had to rely on “snake jazz”—a wide assortment of breaking and offspeed pitches. I threw them at a couple of different speeds, and being a sidearmer I used the crossfire extensively, so I had quite an arsenal with which to confuse and discombooberate the hitters. But my catcher and I kept things simple—what we would do was one finger for the slider (my best pitch), two for the curve ball that came attached to my sidearm delivery, three for the knuckle-curve, and for all the other stuff he would just stick out his mitt and wait for the ball. And when I was going to crossfire a pitch I just pulled my cap down over my forehead. Did I ever have fun making the batters look stupid! :slight_smile: