A catcher’s primary responsibility is to interact and communicate with the pitcher before each pitch is done. This action serves two vital functions. For one, the two players must identify the ball they think will yield the intended results.
These two players base their decision on several factors, including the batter’s strengths and weaknesses and his ability to execute a compelling pitch. Besides, the catcher needs to know what angle is coming; otherwise, he might risk having the ball fly right past him or the ball striking him or the umpire
This is what necessitates the need for coded communication between the catcher and the pitcher. If you are a pitcher and don’t understand the catcher’s interface, you’ll miss it. Any miscommunication with these signals can result in passed balls, wild pitches, and, at times, injury to the catcher. That’s why it’s essential to understand what the catcher means to you as a pitcher.
Remember that the catcher’s position enables the player in that position to see the entire field. This means the catcher is best placed to tell you when and where to throw the ball. In a nutshell, we cannot overemphasize the need for excellent catcher-pitcher chemistry in baseball and softball games.
That’s why in this article we are going to look at the following:
- What are Catcher Signals?
- Catcher-Pitcher Signs (by pitch type)
- Catcher-Pitcher Signs (by pitch location)
- Alternative Methods to Calling Signs
- Changing Signs with a Runner on 2nd
- Other Catcher Signals
- Tips for Catcher Signals
What are Catcher Signals?
The pitcher and catcher must be on the same page to get ready for the pitch; certain pitches need a massive catcher movement/anticipation. The catcher is not because of the batter, but the pitcher is. Thus, the catcher is a better option to give indications, so the hitter cannot see them – the same is the case for the opponent’s dugout visions of the pitcher vs. the catcher.
Catcher’s signals are the signs that you receive from the catcher on what to do next.
Catchers don’t send universal signals. Every Signal is dependent on the circumstances, as highlighted below.
Catcher-Pitcher Signs (by Pitch Type)
First, the catcher and the pitcher must know the pitch you think will be most effective. You should base this on several things. These include the hitter’s tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as the pitcher’s own capability to execute a pitch.
Secondly, the catcher has to know what pitch to expect
. Otherwise, he/she will risk the ball flying right past or striking the supposed receiver.
So, what do some of these signals mean?
- One finger means fastball
- Two fingers mean curveball
- Three fingers imply slider
- Four fingers mean changeup
Nearly any catcher you contact will tell you this: one finger down means a fastball. It’s the first pitch any thrower gets to learn, and it’s the most essential. Depending on what the following level of balls a pitcher throws, fingers two to four can differ, but two will mean a curveball, three will mean slider, and four will tell you it’s time to the changeup.
Catcher-Pitcher Signs (By Location)
Another dimension to catcher pitching signs is selecting the location of the pitch. There are two ways to achieve this. The first is to give the indication for a ball and tilt your hand towards the plate’s side that you want the pitch to move. This is meant to be more secretive.
The other way involves allocating a number to an outside pitch and an inside. So, if a catcher wants an inside fastball, he can flash one finger followed by two fingers.
Catcher-pitcher Signal Chart
Catcher signs are fast and intentional. They are another way of communicating that both catcher and pitcher are well-versed in. Below is an example of the kinds of combinations that are mostly recommended for various catcher hand signals.
Optional Methods to Calling Signs
In most cases, the catcher must find and use alternative techniques for calling pitches. For instance, this can occur if the pitcher is experiencing difficulty seeing the signs because of challenging vision, awful climate, or absence of lighting in a night game. In these cases, a typical reinforcement plan is for catchers to use their torso and head to substitute finger signals.
Catchers likewise may use various pieces of their gear, for example, their veil – to signal a toss. While less stressful, these strategies are a lot simpler for your competitor to make sense of, since they can’t be covered up between the catcher’s thighs.
Altering Signs with a Runner on 2nd
When a base runner makes some real progress, the catcher and pitcher will, at that point, use a progressively mind-boggling arrangement of signs because now, the runner will have an away from the catcher’s hand.
In this situation, the catcher will randomize various signs and areas, in a steady progression, with the understanding that lone the pitcher knows to search for the warning given in a settled upon request (for instance, the following sign might be the right one, and the others are imitations). This is the place correspondence basic. In such a case, a pitcher isn’t right about which sign to use; the pitch could escape from the catcher, allowing runners to progress.
Other Catcher Signals
Catchers don’t merely speak with the pitcher on which pitch to throw. Likewise, they call for things like a pitcher to pitch-out, pick off, hold a runner, shake off the ball, or venture off the mound.
: A pitch-out is a pitch tossed chest-high, and outside the strike zone, It inverses the player, which places the catcher in an ideal situation to attempt to toss out a runner trying to take a base.
: A pickoff is a point at which a pitcher rapidly ventures off the pitching elastic to toss the ball to a player covering a base, who must label a runner before they return to the plate.
: Catcher signs that sign to hold a runner are equivalent to the pickoff, yet without really tossing to the base.
: Sometimes, a catcher will advise the pitcher to purposefully shake their head at a specific contribute an endeavor to mix up the hitter.
Tips for Catcher Signals
Catcher signals are one of the most significant pieces of a ball game. They ought to never be thought little of. Are you searching for approaches to improve your game? Here are a few hints for hopeful catchers who need to call the best game they can.
Nail clean/white tape
: Either painting your nails, a brilliant shading, or folding white tape over your fingers’ tips can enable your pitcher to see your fingers. It’s significant that your pitcher can observe your fingers to convey clear signs and what they mean.
Ensure your signs are secret
: Remember to hold the hand in the middle of your thighs and near your body. The pitcher is the primary individual on the field who ought to have the option to see your catcher signs.
Camouflage your signs
: The other group is continually attempting to see your signs and make sense of what they mean. Whenever you think your signs are defenseless, call a break and converse with your mentor and pitcher about transforming them or utilizing one of the elective techniques we examined before.
Simple to recall
: Signals should be necessary for you and your partners to recollect, yet hard for the other group to get. In case you’re continually explaining what your signs mean, it’s presumably an ideal opportunity to disentangle things.
A decent catcher is capable of delivering numerous dimensions of the game in a moment, settling on an instant choice on the best pitch that should come straight away, and afterward passing that message by giving a sign to their pitcher. This is in not easy; however, when executed well, it tends to be the ideal way of stealing the show from your competitors.