6 Easy Tips To Avoid Tipping Pitches

Tipping Pitches

One thing the pitchers need to remember is the concept of tipping pitches. People often confuse tipping pitches as illegal, but it is more like a cheat code for the batting team in baseball.

While pitching, the pitchers unintentionally make some hand gestures or position changes, giving the batter an idea of the pitcher’s pitching style, called tipping pitches. This gives the batter a considerable advantage and helps him prepare in advance for the pitch about to be delivered.

In this article, you will learn how pitchers tip away their pitches, tips to avoid them, and how it is useful for the batter.

What Do Tipping Pitches Mean?

From the above definition, it is obvious that tipping of pitches refers to when pitchers unintentionally hint at the hitter about their pitching style. As much as tipping is helpful for the hitters, it is equally disadvantageous for the pitcher and his team.

Pitchers must be careful while pitching so that the batters do not get any signals. Each pitcher has to use more than one pitching style so that the hitters’ do not get to know their pitching style.

What Do Tipping Pitches Mean?

Tipping of pitches is often a result of the pitcherscarelessness. Pitchers of all levels face tipping, but it is more common in younger players. Over time, as pitchers develop more skills and improve their game, they become pros at hiding their techniques and can easily avoid tipping their pitches.

How To Avoid Tipping?

There are various ways that pitchers can keep in mind to avoid tipping and prevent the hitters from knowing their pitching style. Some things that the pitchers should keep in mind are:

How To Avoid Tipping?
  1. Try keeping the angle of your hand the same for every pitch.
  2. Keep the ball’s position the same while holding and throwing.
  3. Do not let your facial expressions vary according to your pitch.
  4. Try to keep your stance the same.
  5. Avoid keeping your hands or gloves at certain places, which may indicate your pitching style.
  6. Hiding the ball from the hitter’s sight is also one way to avoid tipping.

How Is Tipping Helpful For Batter?

As we have already seen that tipping is not useful for the pitcher and his team, we can now say that tipping is quite beneficial for the batter and his team. Tipping helps the batter get a general idea about the pitcher’s technique and helps him prepare for the pitch he is about to deliver.

Tipping is very advantageous to hitters and helps them improve their game and score. Some of the pitcher mannerisms that the batters should keep an eye for are:

  • Breathing pattern
  • Hand position
  • Glove angle
  • Elbow position
  • Facial expressions

To figure out the pitcher’s style, try to decode the pattern he follows while pitching. Most of the time, these signs/signals do not give away much. So it is really important to decode the signs correctly. For this, the hitter must carefully study the pitcher’s style.

Sometimes the pitchers may also give you false hints in order to misguide you, so the hitter should be very careful while observing these signs and acting upon them.

Is Tipping Illegal?

By looking at all the things said with respect to tipping, one might think that it is illegal, but it is not like that. Tipping is not considered to be illegal by any rule.

Till the sport is played by humans, tipping will be present in some way or other, as the pitchers might show some variations in different pitching styles. Tipping is one thing the fans might miss while watching a match, but the players or coaches often notice.

Tipping is not that big of a deal; it is just one thing that pitchers should try to avoid while playing.

Matches Where Tipping Pitches Was Done

Matches Where Tipping Pitches Was Done
  1. Tyler Glanow: On October 11, 2019, Tyler Glanow was called out for tipping his pitches. Tyler held his glove in such a way that helped the opposite team, Houston Astros, figure out that the pitch would be a fastball. Tyler held his glove slightly upwards, which proved to be an advantage for the Astros.
  2. Luis Severino: On October 12, 2018, against Red Sox, Luis Severino was spotted doing something during his pre-setup and during his throw, which gave a hint to the Sox that he was going to deliver a fastball.
  3. Andy Pettitte: In the 2001 World Series, Andy was seen having different mannerisms while delivering some pitches, which proved to be a huge advantage for Arizona Diamondbacks.
  4. Pedro Baez: In 2019, Game 2, Pedro is spotted holding his hand a bit lower in his glove while pitching a fastball compared to the rest of the pitches. Trea Turner caught this incident.
  5. Craig Kimbrel: In 2018, Craig Kimbrel, in the MLB postseason, was seen pulling his glove tighter to his beard while pitching a breaking ball and turning his head towards the home plate when pitching a fastball. All these signs were picked up on by the Red Sox, which ultimately led them to win the match.

Tipping vs. Sign Stealing

Decoding tipping pitches is legal.Stealing some signs is considered to be illegal.
Tipping is when the hitter catches some of the pitcher’s signs to decode the kind of pitch he is about to throw.Stealing signs is when a team decodes the opposing team’s strategy by following their patterns or signals.
Tippins vs. Stealing Signs


Is tipping really useful?

Tipping is not at all useful for the pitcher and his team. Tipping may be useful for the batter if he can correctly decode the pitcher’s signs.

What are the most common ways pitchers tip pitches?

Some of the most common ways the pitchers might use are positioning their hand at the belt, tightening their glove, changing position, and sharp breathing for a fastball.

How often do pitchers tip their pitches?

Tipping is very common in baseball. One might think that it is not true, but it is. Tipping is seen in various national-level tournaments. According to experts, it is believed that more than 50% of MLB players tip.

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