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Discussion: Cut-off

Posted Discussion
Dec. 17, 2009
barrym
157 posts
Cut-off
How important is it to hit the cut-off man and to keep your double play alive. Is it a mental error or not having the experience?
Dec. 18, 2009
Player25
Men's 55
51 posts
This is one of the basics of softball and the hardest to teach to younger players just moving to slow pitch from baseball. The double play in slow pitch is very important. Plus a runner will generally score from second base in slow pitch on a hit. IMO the outfield should charge any ground ball and throw to the cut-off as quickly as possible. Obviously there are situations that demand something different but as the general rule hit the cut-off.
Dec. 18, 2009
4Four4
Men's 60
82 posts
Defensively, there are OFs with rocket arms and OFs with less. Mikens/etc. make us play deep so hitting cutoffs going home is usually preferred but direct to 2nd and 3rd are usually required in AAA and Major. Throwing out runners is still fun.
Offensively, if you're not sure about the arms in their outfield, there's only one way to find out. Just don't wait for the most critical runner of the game to do it.
Beating a tag is still fun, too.
("A man has to know his limitations" - Dirty Harry Callahan)

DH - #4
The Tub
Dec. 18, 2009
Dbax
Men's 60
1264 posts
I need a cutoff for my cutoff.
Dec. 18, 2009
green rocket
51 posts
Not so much senior ball, but a lot of young bucks want the glory of throwing out a fast runner. Not only does the runner advance, the trail runner(s) move up also.

In my years, I've seen outfielders showcase their arms early on to warn the baserunners what to expect. Then there is the runner who baits an outfielder to see what he's got for a hose.

A lot of players pick up on what is out there and will take advantage of a weak arm or lacking fundementals to pull of a victory.

Practice makes perfect, and hitting that cutoff means practicing what you want to do in a game situation.

Younger players certainly do not have the fundamentals the senior players have. They have the ability but lack of discipline seems to be the norm.
Dec. 19, 2009
Ceres
63 posts
The cut-off play is very important, but I hardly see it done correctly. Usuallly the SS or 2B runs to the outfield to relay the throw. They don't line up the throw for the outfielder and you never hear "cut it" or "let it go" from anyone. If this is the case they are RELAY men not CUT OFF men.
Dec. 19, 2009
flydub
14 posts
THis is a great question. Here is the problem, I think. If you are playing a good hitting team, and do nothing but throw it into the cutoff from the outfield, and the cutoff simply holds it and throws it into the pitcher(which often happens) the good hitting team will score at will. Against a lesser team the defense can play conservative, and win. I think against a good hitting team if an outfielder can throw they should try to get an out. Also from experience if you throw it hard early from the outfield the other team things twice about running.
Dec. 19, 2009
ju25
Men's 55
139 posts
Keeping those runners split is very important in softball. Knowing the situation is also very key though. To perform the proper cutoff you need to practice and how many teams have the time to practice. Most players will work on their hitting but not on their defense. When I play with the younger guys I am constantly reminding them to keep those runners split. Most younger players (especially those making the move from hardball to softball) appreciate the knowledge of a veteran player. My buddy stick, who is an excellent hitter, is one of the few veterans I know of that will work with the young lads after bp on their defense.
Dec. 19, 2009
ju25
Men's 55
139 posts
The purpose of getting the ball to the cutoff is to allow him the option of throwing to the base or returning it to the pitcher. A play at the plate your cutoff is the pitcher not an infielder. The key to this is to get the ball into the cutoff mans hands as quick as possible.
Dec. 19, 2009
flydub
14 posts
Most of the better teams in the 60's want to play first to third when they are hitting. And usually the infield is susceptible to this. So unless you are planning on scoring 30 runs you have to somehow challenge first to third scheme. Everything is of course different if you have serious middle infielders. The ball is coming three miles an hour, and good hitters on good teams usually aren't going to hit nice double play balls.
Dec. 19, 2009
ju25
Men's 55
139 posts
The key being there is if the outfielder has the arm strength to even have the option of throwing the runner out. With the use of senior bats you have to play a little deeper, and at 56 I can still throw pretty well, but nothing like I used to . For me I have had better success with gunning the ball to my ss and letting him decide on whether or no to make a play at third. One of the biggest things I've noticed since I started playing senior ball 2 years ago is the lack of strong arms in the outfield.
Dec. 20, 2009
stick8
1274 posts
barrym, good question and good topic to discuss. As an OF I've always believed let the runner go first to third on a base hit to keep the batter runner at first thereby keeping the force and a potential dp. Many times it can be pinpointed as a reason why teams lose one or 2 run games. Base hit with runners on 1st or 3rd, 1 run scores on a base hit. Base hit with runners on 2nd and 3rd, 2 runs usually score. If this happens because OF's not splitting the runners you potentially give up more than a few runs that you don't have to.
Dec. 20, 2009
flydub
14 posts
While it is good to hit the cut off I've seen teams beat by a good throw from the outfield. Teams sometimes then just pack it in. There are times when an out has a big affect especially when a runner is out at home. I know when I am running I hate to be thrown out at home.
Dec. 21, 2009
hombre
Men's 60
220 posts
Some outfielders have the arm to make the plays on base runners, but most of us seniors don't. If the OF can't figure out which plays he can or can't make, the coach and or other players need to explain it to him.
The IFs need to be aware of the strenghth of their OFs arms. If they are weak, the IF needs to go far enough out so that he will catch the incoming throw in the air, if possible. The runner probably gains a couple of steps each time that ball bounces.
Since the cutoff has his back to the infield, someone in the infield, possibly the pitcher, needs to let him know where to go with the ball.
Dec. 21, 2009
hombre
Men's 60
220 posts
If you have a weak arm like me, you might want to put as much on your first throw as possible. It might fool the opposition into thinking you have more of an arm than you do.LOL
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