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November 25, 2013 6:09 am

Baseball Therapy: The Corner-Outfield Inefficiency

38

Russell A. Carleton

Are teams passing up an advantage by not telling their corner outfielders to trade places based on the batter?

On Friday’s episode of Effectively Wild, listener Matt Trueblood emailed the show to ask Ben and Sam a fascinating question. Why is it that teams do not have their left and right fielders switch places more often, particularly if one of them is a better fielder than the other? We know that some players like to pull the ball, while others like to hit to the opposite field. Why not put the better fielder in the place where it’s more likely that the ball will be hit? It’s a fascinating question because there is no rule that prohibits it from happening. In the era of the infield shift, why hasn’t anyone tried this?

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