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Articles Tagged Defensive Shifts 

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How have the Rays outfielder's opponents shifted against him with the bunt in mind?

At the end of May, I introduced the idea that some teams were going from playing nearly straightaway to using a full overshift once the count went to two strikes against certain pull-heavy lefties whom they deemed threats to bunt. The idea was that teams would probably prefer to implement a full overshift earlier in the count, but were hindered by the hitter’s ability to bunt for a base hit. This was inspired by the Orioles using a two-strike overshift numerous times against Michael Bourn, and the Pirates doing it a couple of times against both Denard Span and Danny Espinosa.

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This week's bunts (including the first attempt by a right-hander), plus a look at aggressive counter-adjustments by opposing defenses.

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This week's bunts (including three first-timers, two near-misses, and Joey Gallo), plus a look at counter-adjustments by opposing defenses.

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This week's bunts (including two big debuts), plus a look at counter-adjustments by opposing defenses.

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This week's bunts, plus a look at counter-adjustments by opposing defenses.

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This week's bunts, a chat with Chip Hale, and a new trend in defensive shifts. Plus: Ted Williams.

Last month I started a season-long series (continued here, here, here, here, and here) devoted to tracking bunts for base hits with the infield shift in effect; this is the seventh installment. To bring you up to speed on the series’ premise and methodology will take but two brief excerpts. Excerpt one:

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In the era of aggressive defensive positioning, does the old-fashioned box score still tell us where people played?

At its core, baseball’s defensive revolution has been about positioning fielders in places where the ball is most likely to be hit, an idea so simple and sensible that it seems incredible that teams didn’t adopt it earlier. As the Astros’ Sig Mejdal says, “Why weren't teams positioning their infielders different half a decade ago? I don't know. The data was all there.”

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The latest exciting developments in the back-and-forth battle between batters/bunters and defenders.

Last month I started a season-long series (continued here and here) devoted to tracking bunts for base hits with the infield shift in effect; this is the third installment. To bring you up to speed on the series’ premise and methodology will take but two brief excerpts. Excerpt one:

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Are batters catching on?

Earlier this month I started a season-long series devoted to tracking bunts for base hits with the infield shift in effect; this is the third installment. To bring you up to speed on the series’ premise and methodology will take but two brief excerpts. Excerpt one:

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The second installment of a series designed to reveal whether batters are striking back against defensive shifts.

Last week I started a season-long series devoted to tracking bunts for base hits with the infield shift in effect; this is the second installment. To bring you up to speed on the series’ premise and methodology will take but two brief excerpts. Excerpt one:

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The start of a new series.

One of my obsessions this season is the defensive shift—specifically, what batters are going to do about it. I covered this subject at length last month, but here’s how I boiled it down in last week’s Lineup Card:

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November 20, 2013 8:14 am

Overthinking It: Baseball's New Kind of Coach

3

Ben Lindbergh

On the rise of the defensive coordinator.

A few months ago, in a guest piece for BP, Gabe Kapler made the case for hiring Matt Martin, a coach whose passion and instructional skills had impressed him in the minors. On Monday, the Detroit Tigers took his advice, adding Martin to new manager Brad Ausmus’ staff.

The 44-year-old’s resume looks like that of many major-league coaches: some experience as a professional player, followed by close to two decades of minor-league coaching experience. His title is a lot less typical: “Defensive Coordinator,” a position familiar to football fans (though the NFL's "Quality Control Coach" is a closer equivalent) but almost unknown in baseball.*

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