Results tagged ‘ defensive shift ’
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman stepped to the plate today and the Phillies stepped to the right side of the infield.
They employed a defensive shift against Freeman, which has been a rarity for the Phillies in the past. According to Baseball Info Solutions, the Phillies shifted just 45 times last season, which ranked 29th in baseball. More and more teams recognize the value of a defensive shift, which is why Ryne Sandberg said the Phillies will shift more in 2014.
“We’re going to play with it a little bit,” he said after today’s 2-2 tie with the Braves at Bright House Field. “Once we get our charts and everything, make a decision; sometimes it may be dependent on the game.”
Sandberg said the Phillies discussed using the shift more during the offseason. The Phillies will use video and spray charts on hitters, which show where they hit the ball against right-handed and left-handed pitchers. They also have charts on their own pitchers, which will tell them where hitters seem to hit the ball when they are on the mound.
“The option will also be provided to the starting pitcher, that type of a situation, according to how they’re going to pitch,” Sandberg said. “So it will be coordinated. … We’ll be smart with it and do what makes sense. It’s something that’s grown and the information is there. Teams have had some success doing that, so that’s something to think about and apply.”
It carried the headline: Is the Ted Williams Shift Effective?
It ought to make Ryan Howard a little nauseous, actuall. Baseball Info Solutions looked at groundballs and short liners (balls infielders can handle while playing the shift) over the previous two seasons. Ryan Howard hit .174 when hitting against the shift. He hit .273 hitting without the shift.
Looking for a holiday gift? I will be signing my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” on Friday night at the Barnes & Noble at the Oxford Valley Mall. A bunch of other local sportswriters and sports personalities will be there as well. Come one, come all!