Baseball Magazine

Remind Them to "Hit the Cutoff Man!"

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard
Raise your hand if you are sick of watching major league outfielders miss the cutoff man on throws to home plate.  I know I am. Hitting the cutoff man is one of those finer points that should be easy for major league outfielders to accomplish.  They certainly have the arm strength and accuracy to get it done.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen. 

You'd like to think that each outfielder knows
the situation and is reminding himself of
what to do ...  but don't count on it.

In my opinion, one big reason for this is the boredom that creeps into the minds of some outfielders.  With about 75% of the game occurring in the infield area, the outfielders can very easily lose their focus and get distracted by their own thoughts or things around them.  When a ball is finally hit to them, some just react and forget to follow the basic procedures.  Although this temporary memory loss may be understandable, it should never be an excuse. 
One tip that can go a long way in preventing this is to teach all players on the field to be each other’s “reminders.”  When a runner gets to second base, both middle infielders should turn to the outfielders and say “Come up throwing and hit the cutoff man!”  Outfielders should help each other as well on these plays by keeping each other focused and reminded on what to do.
A coach can only do so much.  To remind every player on the field what to be aware of in every situation would be exhausting.  He’d have to be yelling all game, especially if the outfielders are involved.  As a result, it becomes the duty of all players to be “coaches on the field” and remind each other of things throughout the game.

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