A handcuff in baseball means a hard-hit ground ball. It bounces directly at an infielder, but he finds it challenging to catch the ball because it looks as if he is in handcuffs when trying to catch it.
How Can Infielders Field a Ground Ball
Being in the infield also required a lot of work in baseball. Players in the infield positions must be skilled in fielding the ground balls to retire a runner when the ball is in play. The hit balls travel much faster than thrown balls, so when a handcuff happens, the fielders must employ good catching techniques.
One tip to help infielders avoid having difficulties catching a baseball that has been hit is to be in a position always. The position is called the ready position, wherein the player’s feet are slightly wider than the shoulder-width apart. The player should also bend his knees and should also shift his weight over the balls of the feet. With this ready position, the player can jump on the ball if necessary or move quickly in the ball’s direction.
The player’s head should likewise face the home plate to see which direction the ball will be going. The hands should hang low between the legs with the glove wide open so it would be easier to catch the ball.
Other Meaning of Handcuffs
Another meaning of handcuffs in baseball is when a pitch is thrown high. However, the batter struggles as if he is in a handcuff because he cannot get his hands far enough away from his body when swinging the bat.
One more meaning of handcuffs in baseball is when leagues hold their drafts for the middle relievers.
In this sense, handcuffing is when the closer and a middle reliever from the same team get drafted to ensure that they will do notch saves for the team. A closer or a closing pitcher is a relief pitcher specializing in getting the final outs in the last game or inning when his team is leading. As for the middle relievers, they are the ones who commonly pitch during the fifth, sixth, or seventh games or innings. The middle reliever comes in after the starting pitchers get pulled from the game.