Rockpile Rumblings Spring Training 2012 – Day 7 “So You Want to be a Catcher?”

     So you want to be a catcher?  Today, and for most of the early spring, I have the opportunity to spend time with the catchers and catching coordinator Marv Foley. To put the gear on and be the so called quarterback of the team is full of responsibility. Catchers must understand and get to know every pitcher’s personality, strengths and weaknesses. Leading on the field, calling a game, directing the defense, receiving, blocking and yes blocking home plate during plays at the plate are some of the fundamentals catchers work on constantly. Today, we worked on blocking home plate. With a machine firing balls from shallow left field, catchers get in a set position with feet moving in an athletic position to receive the ball, block the plate and apply the tag. One of the most exciting plays in baseball is the play at the plate. It brings a fan to the edge of your seat when you see the play develop, runner rounding third and the throw coming home. Every aspect of this play from how hard the ball is hit, to how the outfielder fields the ball, to how strong the throw is, then in a split second you have to read the hop of the throw while the runner is bearing down on you, is very detailed in order to execute the play. We also worked on the fundamental “with bases loaded force play at the plate.” Catchers worked on setting up to receive the ball and clearing out of the way to throw to first. Batting practice for the catchers followed.
     The Pitchers had their wheel of eight stations. The position players who arrived early also did their workout.
    Until tomorrow, take time to help someone today, don’t take any day for granted!!!
May God Bless and Never Surrender!!!!!
-Joe Mikulik

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