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Category: Defensive Situations
Type: Formation
Venue: Outdoor


Tandem cuts are specifically used for balls that are hit in either gap or down the lines, that the defense knows will be doubles and possible triples.

It would be easiest to give a scenario to describe what a tandem cut is and does, and how to perform one. The batter hits a gapper to left-center for a sure double. LF and CF are going after the ball. SS is going out to be the cut man because the ball is hit on his side of the field. 2B is going to trail the SS by about 15 feet, he is the tandem cut, (both of which are being lined up by the 3B). 1B waits for the batter/runner to round first and he will trail the runner all the way to second.

The ball is relayed into the SS from the CF, but goes over is head because of a bad throw. However, the 2B is there for just that purpose, and he catches the ball and relays to appropriate bag or runs it in.

Now, this tandem cut is used primarily for a bad throw from the outfield, or a bad hop from the relay to the cut man. This prevents extra bases from being taken if there wasn't a second person in the play. If there was a runner on first to begin the play, it is possible that a tandem cut could prevent this runner from scoring if the relay went awry.

This play switches the cut and tandem man when the play is on the other side, in the right-center gap. A double down the right field line can be handled by the 2B being the cut, and SS being the tandem. However, on the left-field line, things need to change and can be done differently. Here is what I like to do.

Double down the left field line. 3B has to go out to be the cut man and SS will be the tandem. 2B cannot come all the way over to be the cut man, so he will go to his base and we won't have the 1B be a trailer. However, he can come to the left field side of the mound and be a filler in case of a bad relay from the cut man to the P, who will be the fielder at 3B. Note: The pitcher, on all other tandems is backup to the base the play may be made.

This cut play can only be used at higher levels because of arm strength. In a younger age group, a double cut would have to be used.

Submitted by: CoachB

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