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Articles Tagged Defensive Shift 

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June 6, 2012 5:00 am

Manufactured Runs: What We Really Know About the Shift


Colin Wyers

The defensive shift revolution makes for a nice narrative, but how much has it truly changed the game?

Last week, we examined the effects of fielding shifts on fielding metrics. For those who missed out, I’d advise you to go read it, but the short version is that location-based fielding metrics can overstate the importance of fielding shifts to a team’s defense and thus overrate players who are shifted in such an arrangement.

But if the fielding shifts are throwing defensive metrics off, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t contributing to team defense, right? And we are in what some people might term a shifting renaissance. John Dewan of Baseball Info Solutions says:

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These days, it seems like you can't discuss defensive shifts without a J.D.

Sometimes, it’s the comments that seem to miss the mark that generate the most discussion. Take this nugget  (please!) from Tom Verducci, buried within a long, otherwise-insightful article for SI.com about this season’s league-wide ebb in offense:

“The state of hitting is awful. Batters strike out more than ever before and, anecdotally, there seem to be more defensive overshifts employed than ever before. A shift for J.D. Drew, a guy who has hit 30 homers once in his life?”

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January 10, 2008 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Getting Shifty


Dan Fox

Repositioning the infield and its effects on history, defense, and batting.

When asked what he did in the winter when there is no baseball, Rogers Hornsby famously replied that he would "stare out the window and wait for spring." Fortunately, these days fans of the game have plenty to keep them occupied in the cold winter months. Not least amongst the off-season events is looking forward to the baseball-oriented Christmas loot that keeps us busy until spring. While not the massive haul of our Jay Jaffe, I'll keep warm with a new Cubs fleece from my lovely wife and keep occupied with Lee Lowenfish's hefty biography of Branch Rickey titled Branch Rickey: Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman and Cait Murphy's romp through the 1908 season Crazy '08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History; both additions to my library courtesy of my in-laws.

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