Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Economist: Paradigm shift

Does Mark Teixeira need to learn from Carlos Peña?

Baseball strategy is not a puzzle with a single solution. Instead, it is a dynamic system, in which a tactic that works against one approach can be neutralised by another. And when it comes to shifts, the response is as clear as the sea of empty infield dirt abandoned by the defenders congregating on one side of the diamond…

Sluggers who can bunt are the new market inefficiency, and the first team that has its power hitters practising this wimpy technique will enjoy a crucial edge.

David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: May 23, 2012 at 06:46 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: defense

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. hardrain Posted: May 23, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4139069)
Tex announced today that he will "go back" to pulling the ball into the shift. Apparently he was trying to go the other way. (Keyword: trying). At least he walked three times tonight.
   2. Cblau Posted: May 23, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4139072)
The Indians used four infielders on the right side against Williams.
   3. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: May 23, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4139079)
I think what we're going to find is that this is one of those easier said than done things. A lot of these guys haven't bunted since high school, getting them trained to get it past the pitcher without fouling it off is probably a bigger undertaking than any of us realize.
   4. gator92 Posted: May 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4139232)
Tex announced today that he will "go back" to pulling the ball into the shift.

That's what he wants them to think...
   5. Johnny Slick Posted: May 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4139327)
I'm pretty sure you also have to have the speed to get to first base. Even with an overshifted infield, you still have to outrun the pitcher to the ball and then the throw. Also, if you're putting up like an .800 OPS even with the shift, how well do you have to execute that bunt to break even? I mean, just OPS against OPS you'd need to hit around .400, although I don't know that it's as easy as that. Still, even if it's .350, I'm not sure that's a level of ability most sluggers have.

OTOH if you were to do this successfully enough, and more to the point convince the other guys that it is successful, you might eventually get them to stop shifting on you. Given that managers still occasionally think it's a good idea to intentionally walk hot hitters with the bases loaded, I think this might be a tough sell, and in the meantime you as a slugger are hitting an empty .330 and getting knocked by the fans and your teammates (maybe not your manager) for your lack of DINGERS and ribbies.
   6. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4139333)
Sluggers who can bunt are the new market inefficiency, and the first team that has its power hitters practising this wimpy technique will enjoy a crucial edge.

Historical note: Mickey Mantle was perhaps the finest drag bunter of his day. And in game 7 of the 1952 World Series, you can see Jackie Robinson and "roly poly" Roy Campanella beating out successive bunts down the third base line. There's little question that a slugger who knows how to bunt for a hit can give the defenses another thing to worry about.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: May 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4139338)
Also, if you're putting up like an .800 OPS even with the shift, how well do you have to execute that bunt to break even? I mean, just OPS against OPS you'd need to hit around .400, although I don't know that it's as easy as that. Still, even if it's .350, I'm not sure that's a level of ability most sluggers have.


You'd have to be successful on 40 percent of the bunts that were put in play, which probably isn't that difficult at all for a decent bunter against the shift. But if you drop one foul, you still have a chance for the other outcomes that led to your .800 OPS (though, obviously, at somewhat reduced odds).

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 12 February 2018: Jeff Samardzija explains why politics and baseball rarely mix
(1715 - 3:51am, Feb 18)
Last: Stormy JE wanted to milk the soft power dividend

NewsblogRed Sox Speak Out Against WEEI
(7 - 3:21am, Feb 18)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

NewsblogIs Eric Hosmer bidding war overblown?
(13 - 2:26am, Feb 18)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Gonfalon CubsFinally
(55 - 2:21am, Feb 18)
Last: Meatwad

NewsblogJason Vargas, Mets agree to two-year deal
(20 - 12:16am, Feb 18)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogCardinals needing more sleep
(10 - 12:09am, Feb 18)
Last: Balkroth

NewsblogOT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)
(12 - 12:00am, Feb 18)
Last: Booey

NewsblogChase Utley's Role Continues Changing
(13 - 10:47pm, Feb 17)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

NewsblogEx-A’s right-hander Jarrod Parker retires after career derailed by injuries
(18 - 8:42pm, Feb 17)
Last: Tin Angel

NewsblogRob Manfred Might Have Just Made a Mistake | FanGraphs Baseball
(11 - 7:07pm, Feb 17)
Last: Stevey

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-16-2018
(18 - 5:46pm, Feb 17)
Last: RMc's Unenviable Situation

NewsblogWere the Mets (Fred Wilpon) Right to Get Todd Frazier Instead of Jason Kipnis?
(50 - 4:41pm, Feb 17)
Last: Adam Starblind

NewsblogIf you get more than 50% on this impossible quiz, you're a throwback MLB expert | MLB.com
(64 - 4:25pm, Feb 17)
Last: Lars6788

NewsblogTito Francona, a Former Baseball All-Star, Dies at 84
(35 - 4:06pm, Feb 17)
Last: Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66)

Hall of MeritLatin American Players and Pitchers Home Page
(60 - 4:05pm, Feb 17)
Last: Dr. Chaleeko

Page rendered in 0.2866 seconds
47 querie(s) executed