Baseball cut-offs and relays for second basemen. Includes proper defensive positioning, baseball cutoff diagrams, and who is the cut off man in various baseball situations. This is Part 3 in a series of articles on positioning for second basemen.
Note: If you haven’t already, you may want to read about the basics of baseball cut-offs and relays before proceeding with this article on 2nd base positioning for cut-offs.
1. Base hit with a runner on 2nd base.
In this situation, the throw or relay is to home plate. This section describes the positioning for a base hit to outfield if there is a runner at second base.
1.A. Single to left fielder, runner on 2nd base.
The 2nd baseman will cover the second base bag.
With the throw going towards home plate, be ready for a ball cut off by the third baseman and thrown to the second base bag. This could happen if there is no play at home, and the batter is trying to move up to 2nd.
1.B. Single to center fielder, runner on second base.
The second baseman will cover the 1st base bag, notice that this responsibility will be different if there is a runner on 1st. With nobody on base the 2nd baseman will cover 1st and the shortstop will take 2nd.
See Diagram 1.B. – Positioning for a single hit to center field with a runner on second base. Play is at home plate. First baseman is the cut-off man. Second baseman covers 1st base.
1.C. Single to right fielder, runner on 2nd base.
The 2nd baseman will cover 1st base. Again this responsibility will be different if there is a runner on 1st base. With nobody on base the 2nd baseman will cover 1st and the shortstop has the 2nd base bag.
Diagram of positioning for a single hit to right field with a runner on second base. Play is at home plate, with a possible cut and throw to 3rd base. First baseman is the cut-off guy. Second baseman covers 1st base.
2. Base hit, with runners on 1st and 2nd Bases.
In this situation, the throw is to home plate, with potential for a cut and throw to 3rd base. This section describes the positioning for a base hit to outfield if there are runners on both first and second bases.
2.A. Single to left field, runners on 1st & 2nd bases.
This diagram shows the setup for runners at 1st and 2nd base when a single is hit to left field. The 3rd baseman is the cut-off guy, so he may choose to reroute the throw if to 2nd or 3rd if needed.
2.B. Single to center field, runners on 1st and 2nd bases.
Baseball cutoffs and relays for a single to center, the second baseman will cover 2nd base. The shortstop will line up to 3rd base because the outfielder has the option of throwing home or to 3rd depending on the ball hit and the speed of the runners. The 2nd baseman will be expecting the ball from a cut off man if the runner takes to big of a turn around 2nd base.
2.C. Single to right field, runners on 1st and 2nd bases.
To summarize, the second baseman must understand that depending on where the runners start out makes a big difference on which base to cover on a base hit to the outfield.