Who covers second base?
by Murray Diamond
Shortstop has the momentum coming across towards first base.
Murray asked: With one out and a man on first base who covers second base if a ground ball is hit back to the pitcher? The second basemaen or the short stop?
Rick answered: Murray, thank you for your question.
As a general rule you want your shortstop to be there, as he will have his momentum headed more towards first base, than the second baseman.
Teach both middle infielders to always communicate to the pitcher that they are the one who has their comeback grounder, so there is no confusion. Pitcher should acknowledge he knows, or the infielder needs to re-communicate.
Occasionally you will be in a situation where the hitter is a right handed pull hitter, and you have the shortstop shaded to the hole, better to have the second baseman communicate and take the pitcher's comebacker.
Shortstop and second baseman communicate that change between themselves, then the second baseman would communicate it to the pitcher.
It needs to be a habit for pitchers, before they get on the rubber, to look at the middle infielders for the comebacker, when they have a double play possibility at second base.
Communication is the key to keep your defense alert and alive. Pitchers can be particularly susceptible to defensive mental lapses, as they attempt to stay focused on the next pitch they are about to throw.
Yours in baseball,
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