I coach baseball at the 13-15 Babe Ruth level. We work hard with our pitchers holding runners on to avoid giving up really easy stolen bases. At this point, I think our pitchers are doing well at this task. I have a question or two about the second baseman and shortstop and their jobs of helping hold runners on at the second base. I feel if we are going to give up a steal of third base, the runner that steals should at least be held on 2B properly before he earns that stolen base on us.
1) Are there different responsibilities for the two positions in regards to holding the runner at 2B vs. a left-handed or right-handed batter?
2) What should the footwork for the shortstop and second baseman involve?
3) Should they be saying anything, tapping their gloves, or etc.?
Thanks for any tips you can offer me in regards to answering my questions.
You have this pretty well in hand and I answer that because of your suggestions and thoughts. The decision on who holes a runner at second with distractions, playing close to him, are all dependent upon the batter and where he’s most likely at the ball. The general answer is whether he’s left or right-handed but there certainly can be exceptions as you get to know your opponents. There are several ways simply bluffing, going always a bag, living in front of the runner and backing away, moving up directly behind the runner so he knows you’re there. All these things have to be done in synchronization with your pitcher so that you don’t get caught out of place. Now your pitcher can help you with bluffs every once in a while, second and third looks (very look at the runner), pickoff plays even when they’re not successful which is second are pretty rare but they keep a record closer. But you are right you got to do a combination of things and you need to make sure a runner knows you’re there otherwise he’ll become very comfortable and get an extra step or two when the balls hit, we want to steal, distracting your pitcher, so is a variation of what I’ve said and above what you said.
Coach Arnald Swift