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Catcher’s Set Up – Distance to Hitter

A Catchers Set Up Position in Relation to the Hitter


So my teammate Carlos Lee with the Milwaukee Brewers did something I’ve never seen happen and you probably won’t see it happen again. He took a swing, came all the way through, he actually hit the umpire with his back swing. I know, the umpire right. Catchers get hit every so often but the umpire really. Yeah he hit the umpire right in the shoulder, caught him right in the side with a back swing.

So today i want to talk about how far back the catcher setup should be from the hitter. This simple answer is as close as we can be without getting hit. Well what is that distance. If your in the crouch you should be able to reach out and almost touch the hitter’s back knee. If your standing up we should almost be able to reach out and almost touch the hitter’s back elbow. Now understand, this is not a guaranteed way to avoid catcher’s interference. But it is a general guideline that you can follow.

We want to be as close as we can without getting hit. The reason is when were set up, the deeper we back up, the lower I’m going to end up catching this pitch. Like it or not, the umpires call pitches based on how the catcher catches them. They’ll tell you it’s where it crosses the plate. The reality is how the catcher makes it look. So the closer we can get to the home plate, the higher we can hold a low pitch. If we have to scoot up further and further back, were now going to catch that same pitch down here that we would of caught up here before. This is always dictated though by the hitter. You must know your hitter. Like I talked about Carlos Lee. If he’s going to hit you on a back swing, you better back up a little bit.

As a matter of fact, Carl Crawford actually got me twice on catcher’s interference. You asked, what’s catcher’s interference? It’s where you get a little too close. You get your hand out there a little too far. Got me on his swing. Came down right on top of my glove. It’s really and embarrassing play for a catcher. Because number one, no one else knows what happens except the batter’s talking. He’s pointing at me. He’s going to first. I get an error on the play. I know. I get hit on the hand, possibly break a hand and he gets to go to first. And I get an error. So we need to find what that distance is. How far back? We want to be as close as we can without getting hit. So find your distance behind the hitter. This tip will help you stay safe behind the dish.


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