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Inside Move: Baseball Terminology

An inside move is when a pitcher lifts his leg to deliver a pitch and then pivots towards second base to attempt a pickoff. This move tries to deceive the base runner and catch him off guard.

Similar to a how a lefty can lift his leg to pick off at first base, an inside move is a legal pickoff to keep a base runner from getting too big of a lead. Both right-handed and left-handed pitchers can do it. The difference is that a pitcher can pivot and turn but is not required to throw the ball. He can simply turn and step towards second base as long as there is a runner.

This move can keep a runner honest on the base paths and limit his lead. Pitchers can alternate between an inside move and a spin move to mix up their pickoffs. Because there is not a defender standing on the bag such as holding a runner on first base, the middle infielders need to be aware of both possibilities.

Inside Move Baseball TerminologyPitchers can be deceiving by turning at different points in their delivery. High leg kicks or quick moves can change the appearance of an inside move. If a middle infielder does not run to cover the bag, an inside move can also be used to simply scare the runner. No throw is required.

An effective count to use an inside move is on 3-2 with two outs. If runners are on first and second, the inside move can limit a runner’s lead and prolong the man on second taking off for third.

Coaches might have certain signals for an inside move versus a spin move. Pickoff plays are practiced often and players need to be on the same page when attempting a pickoff at second base. An errant throw can end up in center field and allow the runner to advance to third and possibly score.

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