A player is considered to have "flashed the leather" when he makes a brilliant fielding play. LOOGY: Short for "Lefty One Out Guy," a left-handed relief specialist. Meatball: a simple pitch that can be hit right down the center of the plate. Muscle memory? : A tendency of pitchers to use the same motion as their previous arm injury, which often causes further damage.
There are several terms used to describe different types of fielding plays. Here are the most common ones:
Statue at third: When a batter takes but does not touch first base while advancing toward third base. The batter is called out because it appears he might be trying to steal third base. However, when the third baseman covers the base, the batter is forced out at first.
The umpire has no choice but to call him out. This happens very frequently when the batter attempts to advance beyond first base without touching the bag.
Skunk at second: When a batter takes but does not touch second base while advancing toward third base.
A left-handed specialist is frequently referred to as a LOOGY (or Lefty One-Out Guy), a term created by John Sickels that can be derogatory. When the pitcher's handedness is the same as the batter's, the pitcher has an advantage, and when they are opposite, the batter has an edge.
A left-hander will usually throw from the southpaw or left side of the mound because this angle of attack gives them the best chance at beating out an infield hit or scoring from third base on a ground ball. However, a right-hander can also pitch from that side of the mound if desired.
Left-handers usually have a very small margin for error when pitching; one mistake and they could seriously damage their own team's chances of winning. This is why there are so few good left-handers - it takes a lot of effort to be effective with your off hand.
Right-handers on the other hand have more room for error because their pitches are less likely to go for hits than left-handers'. Also, since they are not trying to beat out ground balls, but rather get hitters out with fastballs and curves, right-handers don't need to work as hard which allows them to keep their arms fresh for other matters.
The right fielder is the 9th defensive position player (particularly, an outfielder) responsible for fielding baseballs hit into right field. From shallow right field to the outfield fence, and from right-center field to outside the right foul line, he covers it all. The right fielder is also expected to throw out base stealers who try for his side of the field.
Right field is considered one of the most difficult positions to defend because of the range and responsibility required of the occupant. A ball hit into the corner tends to travel farther than one hit toward the middle of the field. Additionally, since no other player is assigned to cover this area, the right fielder must be able to handle himself/herself defensively if a run scores there. A batter's tendency to pull balls hit into right field increases the risk of accidents for the right fielder.
A right-handed hitter batting second will usually take over play at first base while the left-handed hitter moves to third base. This gives both men an opportunity to reach base by way of walk or hit by pitch. If neither reaches base, the order can be changed back before the next batter comes up.
Fielding statistics are used to evaluate defenders at each position. Right fielders are typically considered to have the best arm strength among all infielders but the lowest average speed due to need for range.
The "slips" are the fielders who stand behind and at an angle to the hitter. The first slip, second slip, third slip, fourth slip (typically gully), fly slip, and so on. Three slips and a gully are the favored fielding positions among teams. A catcher often stands in the "gut" of the lineup to lead off an inning with a strikeout pitch.
The term "slugging position" refers to any defensive position where a batter can reach base by hitting the ball. Because most batters want to hit the ball hard, they usually choose positions that give them a good chance of doing so. For example, a left-handed hitter who can handle right-handed pitching would prefer to play left field, because it's easier to hit left-handed pitches than right-handed ones. On the other hand, if he cannot handle right-handed pitching, he would rather not be put in that situation in the first place.
Thus, a "slugging position" is simply a position where a player can expect to get on base via hits or errors. Left field, right field, first base, and pitcher are the most common batting positions, so they are all slugging positions. Second base is also a popular choice because many hitters find it easy to beat out an infield single or double at that spot.
Fielding a hit ball (typically cleanly or almost so) but holding on to it rather than attempting to throw to a base to retire a runner. If a batter hits into what should be a double play, the fielder who catches the ball can either attempt to advance him at first or second if there are no runners on base, or he can try to get the next hitter. He cannot turn over a double play by himself.
There are two types of balls that are put into play during an inning: hit by pitch and wild pitch. A hit by pitch occurs when a ball is hit into the outfield with enough force to carry across the plate. The umpire signals for a hit by pitch each time this happens; the catcher takes one step toward first base and throws to them if possible, or tags them out if not. If the catcher fails to tag the man before he reaches first, then he has committed an error. A wild pitch is similar to a hit by pitch except that the ball is not hit hard enough to cross the plate. Instead, it is caught by the pitcher before reaching the infield. There are also times when a ball is called a foul ball after it has been hit into the stands. This usually happens when there is no one on base and the team throwing the ball does not want it to reach any player other than their own.