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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NY Post: Davidoff: Why the Yankees are using the shift more than ever

Heading into Monday’s action, according to Baseball Info Solutions, the Yankees were tied with four other clubs — the Astros, Brewers, Cardinals and Athletics — with the major league-leading total of two team shift runs saved. Last year, the Yankees tallied three team shift runs saved for the entire season. [...]

The Yankees used the shift 475 times last year, and they’re already at 88 in 2014, second in the majors behind only Houston (137). If they keep this up, they’ll wind up doing so well over 1,000 times.“If you had a crystal ball, if you could conceive of what happens before it happens — if you could jump in your DeLorean and go back in time — you could turn every ball in play into an out,” Eppler said, slipping in an excellent “Back to the Future” reference.

“A perfect opponents’ BABiP (batting average on balls in play) is .000. The average is between .302 and .305. You want to beat that. If you beat that, you’re going to be pleased.” [...]

In an interview with MLB.com last year, Cincinnati lefty slugger Jay Bruce said: “All in all, I believe shifts make sense, especially against guys hitting for power. Not a lot of power-hitting guys hit the ball on the ground on the left side of the infield. But it’s one of those things where I don’t even worry about it or look at it, because it’s not worth it. If I do what I’m supposed to do, it doesn’t matter anyway.”

bobm Posted: April 15, 2014 at 12:07 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: shift, yankees

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   1. Curse of the Andino Posted: April 15, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4686601)
Everybody in the East shifts, it seems. More and more since the Rays were so successful.
   2. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: April 15, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4686635)
Shift happens!
   3. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: April 15, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4686673)
Heading into Monday’s action, according to Baseball Info Solutions, the Yankees were tied with four other clubs — the Astros, Brewers, Cardinals and Athletics — with the major league-leading total of two team shift runs saved. Last year, the Yankees tallied three team shift runs saved for the entire season. [...]

The Yankees used the shift 475 times last year, and they’re already at 88 in 2014, second in the majors behind only Houston (137). If they keep this up, they’ll wind up doing so well over 1,000 times.


Bad math and good math in the first two graphs of the exerpt!

"Shift runs saved" is terrible. The point is that the shift giveth and taketh away. You may "save" two runs, but if you give away three, it's not a good strategy.

This is one of those situations in which raw "counting stats" can really illuminate this. Are the Yankees shifting a lot? Yes, and here's the proof. Is it a winning strategy? Dunno, and I've never seen this point convincingly illuminated.
   4. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 15, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4686685)
"Shift runs saved" is terrible. The point is that the shift giveth and taketh away. You may "save" two runs, but if you give away three, it's not a good strategy.


I assumed that "shift runs saved" was net.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: April 16, 2014 at 01:54 AM (#4686734)
So Jeter can go to his left, you just have to make sure the pitcher waits for him to get there first.
   6. Sunday silence Posted: April 16, 2014 at 05:10 AM (#4686762)
this is from the article:

Now, on the flip side, if a lefty batter strokes a grounder to shortstop, that’s an out 95 percent of the time with a standard defense. So if that hit beats the shift, you penalize the team by 95 percent of a play, which is about -.72 runs.


how did he calculate that? I would think a single would be worth .45 runs or so, by a linear wt. system.
   7. villageidiom Posted: April 16, 2014 at 06:39 AM (#4686763)
how did he calculate that? I would think a single would be worth .45 runs or so, by a linear wt. system.
It's a gain of a single, and the loss of an out.

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