AJ Hinch clears air on how Detroit Tigers will call pitches

Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch held a meeting with his pitchers and catchers to discuss the collaborative process of calling pitches during spring training games. Hinch made it clear that the decision-making process for pitch calls is a joint effort between the pitcher, catcher, and the advanced reports provided by the team's technology, analytics, and scouting departments. The need for the meeting arose after Tigers lefty Eduardo Rodriguez used the PitchCom to call every pitch in a recent spring training game against the Phillies, which was not in line with the team's approach to making pitch calls. Hinch emphasized that the collaboration between pitchers and catchers is essential to the team's success on the field, and that no single person has the sole responsibility for calling pitches.

“It’s not the catcher’s game to call and it’s not the pitcher’s game to call,” Hinch said. “We should’ve held this meeting a week ago.”

AJ Hinch Detroit Tigers

Key points

  • AJ Hinch cleared the air about having a collaborative effort between pitchers, catchers, and advanced reports from technology, analytics, and scouting departments.
  • A recent spring training game saw Eduardo Rodriguez calling every pitch using the PitchCom, which was not in line with the team's approach.
  • Collaboration between pitchers and catchers is crucial for success on the field.
  • No single person has sole responsibility for calling pitches.

The Big Picture: Establishing clear communication and collaboration is key

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In baseball, the ability to make quick and effective decisions is essential to winning games. For this reason, establishing clear communication and collaboration between pitchers and catchers is critical. The recent meeting held by AJ Hinch with his pitchers and catchers was an important step in ensuring that the team has a cohesive approach to making pitch calls. By working together and using advanced reports, the Tigers can make well-informed decisions that give them the best chance of success on the field.

“We have a lot of people who aren’t a pitcher and catcher who weigh in on a game plan,” Hinch said. “And relating anything in spring training to anything in that regard to the regular season is just not accurate. You will never pitch the same way in a spring game as you would in the regular season.

“There is a reason NFL quarterbacks don't call all their own plays. There is a reason the NBA doesn’t just hand over the plays to the players. It’s because these game plans are super complex.”

Bottom Line: AJ Hinch is preaching Team Effort for Detroit Tigers

Hinch told reporters that calling pitches is a very complex thing, and everybody has to be involved and on the same page.

“We will see how it goes,” Hinch said. “I like them working together and I like the people working behind the scenes that don’t get to wear uniforms that are forming significant opinions, as well. We have a whole advance team for a reason.

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“It’s not about a gut feel. It’s not about what necessarily feels good (to the pitcher). It’s not ‘my’ game. As a catcher, it’s not ‘my’ game either. It’s more complex than a pitch communication system that for some reason got headed down a path of it being a single person’s responsibility.”

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