The Ole Ball Game

Re: Cutoff positions for middle infielders

Single To Left

Single To Left

Anonymous asked: My son's 16u travel ball coach has the second baseman covering second base on singles to right field with nobody on.

Likewise, the shortstop is to cover second base on singles to left field. He has the other middle infielder backing up the throw to second.

Is this something that is done in the higher levels of baseball? I played through high school, and my oldest boy pitched in college ... neither of us has ever seen this.

Rick answered: Thank you for your question.

I am with you and your son, I have not seen it done the way you described it.

The diagrams above are what we use. They are what I was taught from LL thru college.

The main reason for the infielder on that side to go out is to cover the possibility that the outfielder turns the base hit into a double cut situation.

If your lead cut man is on the bag when the ball gets past the outfielder, he will not get out to where he needs to be in time.

If it still remains a single cut, he is there to line the outfielder up and to cutoff the ball if need be.

No need for that throw to go all the way to the bag, if the runner isn't attempting to go to second.

By sending the infielder to that side out on everything hit to his side, all cutoffs are then the same and the infielders don't need to determine whether they should or shouldn't. They always should.

Backup is easily done by the third baseman and the right fielder. I send my first baseman down inside the bag in the hopes of making the runner push himself a little wider on his turn. The idea is to be close enough for the runner to think about it, yet not interfere with him.

Small item; but a little advantage sometimes.

Yours in baseball,


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