When should pitchers assists behind a base?


For example, after a single and runner on second, pitcher should go behind home plate, in what other situations pitchers should assist?


Sometimes you will see a pitcher back up third if there is a runner going to third while there is a throw coming in from the outfield. Interesting question though, I am not really sure to be honest.


With a ball in play a pitcher should rarely be a spectator. The pitcher should anticipate where the ball with be thrown and prepared to back up an errant throw. Even on a ground ball to shortstop and no one on base the pitcher should should move towards the first base side of the field anticipating a throw in the dirt which may kick off the first base mans glove and down the fist base line. He maybe able to prevent the runner from moving up a base. The same can be said for a throw to any base.


I know many that visit this web site won’t agree with my opinion and technique of managing pitchers when it comes to fielding, but I have my reasons.

First off, pitchers are pitchers, nothing more, nothing less. Usually, they stink at fielding, misjudge what’s gong on, never attend a meeting with the infield coaching staff, have little of no relationship with the rest of the club outside the battery thing… and at that… many pitchers live in a world all by themselves. So, if you’re looking for a guy to screw things up royally, miscue what’s gong on, totally clueless of even what day it is… get this guy on the hill involved.

Now I’m not saying to totally ignore backing up any bag, not at all. But truthfully, how many infield practices do you conduct, or actually witness, the pitcher being involved with. No many. So try as he may, just don’t expect much…

In fact, how many times … honestly now… have you seen a pitcher backing up a bag, and actually make a play, then hear over your shoulder … “Wow, that was lucky.”


I believe that from age 10 to 16 or 17 the pitcher is many times the best player defensively on the field. It’s not until they must pick to be a full time pitcher that their defensive skills diminish.


Totally agree, once I reached college ball and decided to pitch full-time, fielding became foreign. The only thing we worked on was PFPs and situational defense(i.e. comebackers) haha


I was consistently taught at a few different programs that if you have a runner on 1st after a base-hit, you B-line it in-between home and 3rd to anticipate any wild throw.


So, a pitcher who assists behind a base is considered a “plus”?


Every major league pitcher backs up 3rd base and home when there is a pending play.


You have to get into the flow of the play. You can’t say for certain where you will be. Even a single to the outfield is not an automatic back up at home. If it’s a gap single or away from the outfield positioning, you may find yourself backing up second base in case the relay gets through the bag or skitters off a glove. Mostly back up the base with the biggest consideration being not to get in the way of another defender and not obstructing a runner. The best way to get a feel for it, is to have runners going around the bases when you take full team infield practice. Rotate a different pitcher on the mound each time you swing the fungo.


I agree with Jerp33. When I’m not pitching, I’m usually the shortstop, so I’m capable of backing up plays anywhere. I was taught early on - never be a spectator. Depending on where the ball is hit, I try to get in position to make a play on an errant throw or misplayed ball.


I think this is common knowledge, but if you’re not sure whether the throw from the outfield is going to third base or home, position yourself between the two so you can adjust from there rather than covering home and realizing the throw is going to third or vice versa.
And this isn’t about backing up bases, but during bunt defense practice the other day, one of our runners took advantage of the catcher fielding a bunt and leaving home unprotected, scoring. The runner advanced from second to home. Now I make sure to cover home if the catcher fields the bunt. I don’t think that’s a common occurrence, maybe just crafty runners taking advantage of a high school defense. But worth noting, I’d say.


High school and above, I can’t think of a time when a pitcher should back up first or second other than covering first on a ground ball to the right side. On balls hit to the outfield, it’s the pitchers job to get out of the infield and backup throws between 3rd and home - depending on where the runners are located.


yep, i totally agree with this! and that’s exactly the time when i think my son would do it.