The Nationals’ defensive philosophy is changing. Just look at the shift.

When evaluating a player’s performance in 2020, it’s hard to place too much stock in a 60-game season. It only provides a tiny sample size of starts, at-bats or opportunities in the field. But over the course of three months, in a season that never went their way, the Washington Nationals flashed a sharp shift […]

Rays quickly turn attention to ‘uncertainty’ of 2021

The Rays are going to look different next season. They always do. It’s pretty much in their DNA to spend their offseason days looking for ways to tweak the roster, adding talent and managing payroll by making trades and signings, often under the radar, that result in an annual churn. But how much differently? Click […]

Aligned right: Major League Baseball’s infield shift trend has roots in Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ten years ago, a one-hopper up the middle that got past a major league pitcher was almost certain to become a base hit in the center field grass. The same could be said for most screaming line drives pulled to right. But then the shift happened. Data displaying hitters’ tendencies became more […]

SIS Introduces Major Upgrade to its Flagship Stat, Defensive Runs Saved

(January 13, 2020) – Sports Info Solutions (SIS) is pleased to announce a revolutionary advancement in its flagship statistic, Defensive Runs Saved. This update will be featured in The Fielding Bible – Volume V, coming this spring. The Fielding Bible has supported the Sports Info Solutions mission of improving baseball’s understanding of defensive metrics. SIS […]

What Has Happened When 4-Man Outfields Were Used This Season?

By NICHOLAS BEHRENDT Stats through April 29 Sports Info Solutions began tracking the four-man outfield shift in 2018, but the result was only 37 balls in play against it for the season. It gained some attention in Spring Training this year, and Andrew Kyne wrote about candidates for the unusual defensive approach. Now the 2019 MLB season […]

The Orioles Are Fully Embracing Shifting

BY MARK SIMON While you were distracted by Chris Davis’ futility pursuit, you might not have noticed something interesting. The Mike Elias/Sig Mejdal/Brandon Hyde-run Orioles have gone full-scale Houston Astros when it comes to defensive shifting. The Orioles have used a defensive shift on just under 60 percent of the balls in play against them […]

Stat of the Week: The Marlins are Shifting Like Crazy

Posted by Alex Vigderman This offseason featured renewed discussion about banning the shift. That doesn’t look like it will happen in the imminent future, though, and that’s good news for MLB teams. Through the first week of the season, the league is once again on pace to shift more than it did the year before. […]

March’s Most Interesting Team Was… The Marlins?

BY ALEX VIGDERMAN The NL East might have been the buzziest division in baseball over the offseason, with every team making big trades and/or signings. You know all that because you’ve been paying attention. You’re reading this blog after all. The Marlins’ primary buzz surrounded their pursuit of offloading J.T. Realmuto, so once that was […]

2019 Bill James Baseball Handbook: “Shift Update”

This is an excerpt from the 2019 Bill James Baseball Handbook. You can purchase it online here. By JOHN DEWANReports of the demise of The Shift are greatly exaggerated. Last year we reported on these pages that the number of shifts employed by Major League Baseball teams declined for the first time after five straight years […]

Stat of the Week: Shifting is at an All-Time High

Something monumental happened in baseball this past weekend—and it wasn’t the Orioles being given a nationally televised game. By the end of play on Sunday, teams had shifted on balls in play 28,249 times, surpassing the previous record of 28,130 set in 2016. They are now on pace to shift just under 35,000 times this […]

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