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Monday, July 27, 2020

6 OFs ... nearly 7? How KC shifted vs. Miggy

The Royals lined up their three outfielders—Alex Gordon, Brett Phillips and Jorge Soler—in their traditional spots. But they also had third baseman Maikel Franco and shortstop Adalberto Mondesi positioned in short left field, well off the infield dirt. And second baseman Whit Merrifield was also set up in the outfield, in short right-center.

The only infielder who still had some of his spikes on the infield dirt was first baseman Ryan O’Hearn, who was still quite a distance from first base.

The strategy against Cabrera, whose knee injuries over the years have severely hampered his speed almost to a jog, certainly worked. Cabrera grounded out on slow rollers in both the second and seventh innings—to “short” and to “second,” respectively. The Royals’ infielders still had plenty of time to charge the ball and make the throws for the outs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 27, 2020 at 11:44 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: shifts

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   1. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2020 at 05:38 AM (#5966302)
That's embarrassing.
   2. The Duke Posted: July 28, 2020 at 07:11 AM (#5966310)
At least they didn’t DFA him while he was jogging to first
   3. Rally Posted: July 28, 2020 at 09:40 AM (#5966322)
The Astros did something similar to Pujols a few years back, with Altuve and Correa playing well behind the infield dirt. They still had no trouble throwing him out on ground balls. It was embarrassing and I commented here about it. Someone that slow changes the balance of the game, and should be declared medically unable to play.

This is similar to the shoulder issue that forced Jeff Bagwell to retire. Normally, a 1B throwing arm is not a big deal. But you need some minimal level of competence. If there was a runner on second base and the next batter hit a routine 6-3 to the shortstop, Bagwell did not have enough arm to stop the runner from scoring. If teams could score from second or go 1st to 3rd on routine groundouts, then the game is changed and something that is normally not a huge deal (poor 1B throwing) becomes disastrous.

Pujols last year seemed to be back to merely the slowest guy in the game, as opposed to being slower than the average 88 year old great grandmother. Hope Miggy can improve to merely slow, but the play as described sounds like someone that no organization should allow on the field. Sure, you have to pay him either way, but let sunk costs be sunk and put someone on the field who can play.
   4. Rally Posted: July 28, 2020 at 09:42 AM (#5966323)
Just watched the video. When Astros did this to Pujols, they were playing even deeper.

I wonder if Albert or Miggy could be thrown out at first on a well played hard line drive off the wall in right field.
   5. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 28, 2020 at 10:11 AM (#5966328)
Nitpick, that is not 6 outfielders, that is just infielders playing really deep.

   6. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: July 28, 2020 at 10:25 AM (#5966332)
I came here to say what Rally did and to wonder if we'll see more teams start doing that to Pujols. He's certainly just as slow as Miggy, if not slower. The only reason I could see not to is that he doesn't hit the ball hard enough to warrant it.

This is the MLB equivalent of having your left fielder throw to first to get the old, gimpy guy out in your slowpitch softball game. Sure, you're getting an out, but it leaves everyone feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable.
   7. catomi01 Posted: July 28, 2020 at 11:02 AM (#5966346)
We do this a lot in my slowpitch leagues - the limiting factors are usually two things - half of the team doesn't have the arm to reach 1B from short LF, and the fact that on most of the fields we play at, the transition from infield dirt to outfield grass is rough enough that a ball hitting the lip is usually moving in a very different direction than it was originally.
   8. Karl from NY Posted: July 28, 2020 at 02:38 PM (#5966422)
Nitpick, that is not 6 outfielders, that is just infielders playing really deep.

Do they count as infielders for the purposes of the infield fly rule? There is a rules distinction there that needs to be resolved somehow (given an applicable base-out situation of course.)
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 28, 2020 at 03:14 PM (#5966432)
Well they counted the infield fly rule when Pete Kozma dropped that fly ball in shallow left in the NLDS a few years back. I believe the rule is totally subjective, determined by the umpire.
   10. catomi01 Posted: July 28, 2020 at 04:48 PM (#5966465)
Runners on base you wouldn't be doing this least one of the SS or 2B would be closer to the bag for the double play and to guard against a steal...same with 3B if there's a runner on third. This shift really only work with no one on base (or two outs if you don't care about basically giving away a stolen base).
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: July 28, 2020 at 05:05 PM (#5966469)
Catomi01 hits it. If you stick your infielders in the outfield with runners on first and second, you're not only seriously reducing the chances of turning the double play (assuming you leave one man near second base), you're often going to allow the lead run to score on the groundout.

I believe the rule is totally subjective, determined by the umpire.

It's whether an infielder can catch the ball with ordinary effort. Kozma could have, thus the call was correct.
   12. The Duke Posted: July 28, 2020 at 05:46 PM (#5966480)
No the call wasn’t correct. The issue was having six umpires vs four. It was the left field ump who called it. So you have a guy who may never have umped a game from left field making an infield fly call. His vantage point is different and it’s really not even his call. But of course, it was probably a topic never discussed on how to handle.

In the regular season, that would never have been called. Never.

I’m a cardinal fan FYI.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: July 28, 2020 at 06:08 PM (#5966489)
None of that matters. The only question is whether the conditions are in place for an IF fly and whether the infielder could make the play with ordinary effort. Once Kozma began to casually back pedal, the umpire correctly ruled that the play could be comfortably made and applied the rule as required. That Kozma inexplicably peeled off just as the call was being made was unfortunate.

You can certainly argue that shouldn’t be an infield fly given how deep it was, and I wouldn’t disagree, but that’s not how the rule is written.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: July 28, 2020 at 06:21 PM (#5966492)
This is the MLB equivalent of having your left fielder throw to first to get the old, gimpy guy out in your slowpitch softball game. Sure, you're getting an out, but it leaves everyone feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable.

I have mentioned that our manager in Senior League (not that one; when I was 12 years old) used a Special Shift on exactly one kid in the league.

this poor bastard would have needed to hit the ball about four times before it reached the outfield.

so we had the LF play 3B, the CF play 2B, and the RF play 1B.

the real 3B/2B/1B moved to within maybe 20 feet from the plate, since he did hit the occasional feeble nubber.

as you might guess, this kid couldn't really run, either - making the shift even more absurd. I suppose there could be a little speedster in the league with not much of a stick who collected some infield hits. this was not that kid.

weirdest part is that the manager was the sanest one I ever dealt with. he had two sons on the team, and they were normal, too.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: July 28, 2020 at 06:32 PM (#5966494)
On the off chance the kid, or anyone else in the vicinity, didn’t know how much the kid sucked, it was considerate of your coach to make sure that was rectified.
   16. Zach Posted: July 28, 2020 at 06:54 PM (#5966497)
Wow, couldn't take any chances that the .050 hitter could get on base, huh?

In rec sports, I feel like you have to acknowledge that the worst hitter probably got talked into playing to fill out the lineup or because a sibling / significant other wanted to play and position yourself accordingly.
   17. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: July 28, 2020 at 07:24 PM (#5966503)
Pretty sure that kind of arrangement was against the rules in the youth and rec leagues I played in. Definitely against the unwritten rules.

That's not a shift Cabrera faced, just an embarrassment.

   18. Cblau Posted: July 28, 2020 at 09:27 PM (#5966520)
According to the rule book, the pitcher is the only infielder, since the infield is defined as the area inside the base lines, and infielders are players who play in the infield.
   19. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: July 29, 2020 at 07:33 AM (#5966592)
I've seen the IF rule called on balls caught on the OF grass, so I'm not sure if your interpretation is correct.
   20. manchestermets Posted: July 29, 2020 at 11:16 AM (#5966629)
Doesn't this just go back to everyone should practice bunting? If Cabrera can perform that fundamental skill vaguely well, he's got a free base here. Is he really so slow that if he dropped a bunt down the third base line he wouldn't get on against that shift 95% of the time?
   21. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 29, 2020 at 11:54 AM (#5966642)
Pete Kozma was deeper than the "outfield umpire" when the IF fly was called. Incorrect call.

   22. SoSH U at work Posted: July 29, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5966648)
Pete Kozma was deeper than the "outfield umpire" when the IF fly was called. Incorrect call.

I think that's a perfectly reasonable aspect of BLB's IF fly rule. It's just not part of the one Sam Holbrook was umpiring under.

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