Runner for Catcher

by Arbie

What are your thoughts about always putting in a runner for your catcher or pitcher? My daughter is a 12U catcher, and last year, she rarely got the chance to run. Coach said he was "saving her legs", which is okay, but she moves up to 14U next year. And hopefully in a couple of years, she will be playing showcase ball. So...shouldn't she be doing her own baserunning?? Or are there other factors to consider: her speed, game situation, heat of the day, etc.?? thanks!

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Factors to be Considered
by: Dan

Hi Arbie,

I understand your concern. Here is what factors I consider when putting in a runner for my catcher or pitcher:

1. How many games will the team be playing that day/weekend?

2. How many games will the catcher and pitcher be playing those positions that day/weekend?

3. Is there someone on the bench who is faster and can possibly steal me a base or take an extra base?

4. Is there someone on the bench who understands how to run the bases and can steal me a base or take an extra base?

Note: I want both #3 and #4, not one or the other.

5. What's the score?

The main reason for being able to run for the catcher and pitcher is to be able to save them, given they are playing the two most strenuous positions. On those brutally hot days, there is nothing worse than having to put on the catcher's equipment. The reason most coaches use the rule is because it allows them to put a bigger threat (someone faster and smarter on running the base) and therefore gives the team a better chance to score. Now, everyone likes to run the bases and hopefully score, so we would look for situations where we would let our catcher and pitcher run (only game of the day/weekend; only planning to have the player catch/pitch that game; the player is very fast and extremely good at understanding base running) because doing otherwise would actually hurt the team.

First of all, no coach will hold it against your catcher daughter that she is run for. It is just a fact of the game. However, if you would really like to see her run the bases more, you have to make it so that it would be a negative if they don't let her run. How fast is she? There are plenty of exercises to address team speed (mostly around lifting the knees higher ... such as running hills). How smart is she about running the bases? You can teach her the fine points of base stealing and taking the extra base. If that is the case, then they may be forced to let her run. In the end, however, if your daughter is a great catcher who they want to play every game, sacrificing her running the bases to get a little extra rest could be the best thing for the team.

Hope this helps,


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