Watching The Catcher’s Rear

The outfield can get boring. But you can spend time thinking about your positioning at least. And if you spend a lot of time thinking about positioning, as Sam Fuld does, then you’ll eventually dissect every part of the play as it sets up. Even the catcher’s butt.

From pitch to pitch, I’ll try to guess with the pitcher. I’ll just take a couple steps in that direction. Sometimes, once the catcher sets up early enough, I can tell something. If the guy is set up middle and his ass is up a bit, I can tell it’s offspeed if a runner’s on base. He’s getting ready to block the pitch because you’re more likely to get a ball in the dirt. You can sort of read stuff from the catcher and think of what pitch is coming. — Sam Fuld

Can we mere laymen see this change in catcher butt height?

Let’s look at a game from the weekend and compare the catcher’s posterior positioning. Both of these images come from the first inning of the Braves against the A’s at home this past weekend. Julio Teheran is throwing Evan Gattis an outside changeup in both instances, as well. But Gattis is in a different receiving position in each case, with the bases empty on the left and a runner on first in the picture on the right:


Knowing an offspeed pitch is coming, as you would in this situation if you were looking in the right place, would allow you as an outfielder to take a step towards the pull field. A step can make a difference.

It gets boring out there in the outfield, and Sam Fuld thinks of all sorts of things to fill the time. Sometimes he thinks about the catcher’s butt.

With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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9 years ago

As a former catcher, i hadn’t really thought much about that. Wondering if opposing teams ever (if it’s even possible) analyze that mid game…..

Ryan Ahearn
9 years ago
Reply to  Eno Sarris

It probably doesn’t benefit the batter, but it could allow a base-stealer a bit of an advantage in choosing his pitch.

9 years ago
Reply to  Eno Sarris

Yeah you’re probably. Still something i hadn’t really thought much about