Sign in to follow this  
Vladdylonglegs

Hitters explain why they can't beat the shift

83 posts in this topic

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/24049347/mlb-hitters-explain-why-just-beat-shift

I thought Carpenter's thoughts were pretty interesting:

"There's this whole narrative of 'Why don't guys just hit ground balls to short?' The answer is: (a) It's not that easy and (b) it's the complete thing you've taught yourself your entire baseball career to avoid. If a guy has a chance to hit a homer and a double, and he goes up there trying to slap a ground ball to short, the other team is perfectly fine with that.

"I think it gets blown out of proportion when people say, 'Just hit a ground ball to short.' You can't just take a 98 mph cutting fastball in on your hands and do that. Let's just say I sell out tonight, and I try it four times. The likelihood of me hitting four straight ground balls to short and ending up 4-for-4 are very slim. If I succeed once or maybe twice, at best I'm going to go 2-for-4 with two singles, where if I just play the game, I might go 2-for-4 with a homer and a double. It makes no sense to me.

"Just think about this: When there's a runner on third base and less than two outs and the infield is playing back, every hitter in baseball knows that all you have to do is hit a ground ball anywhere, and you score the run. And that success rate is still super small. That play is easy, and it gets screwed up all the time. Guys can't hit a ground ball when all they have to do is hit a ground ball to score a run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's talking about hitting a ground ball to short, I think everyone else is talking about dropping a bunt down the 3B line.  If they're going to shift on you as a LHB, it doesn't even have to be that good of a bunt as long as you put it down the line and make it go at least 45 feet.  That's not a difficult thing to accomplish for a major league hitter.  They'd probably be successful more than 50% of the time until teams stopped shifting on them. 

I think LHB really have no excuse other than pride.  Call me old school, but I'd rather have the runner on rather than take the remote chance that he swings hard and makes the right contact to drive the ball out of the park. 

Now as far as shifting on RHB, well there really isn't a good answer on that one.  The bunt has to be significantly more well-placed the the runner has to be faster to work.  So rather than being successful 70% of the time as a LHB might be if they actually tried it, a RHB might only be successful 20% of the time, and that's even if they're fast.  RHB that get shifted on might as well swing away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems like a bunch of whiny excuses for not being able to go opposite field... teams and staff have used analysis to understand that there are many Left-Handed "Power" type hitters that struggle to hit opposite field. Therefore you have shifts like this happen, and rightfully so. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"98 MPH cutter in on your hands"

Back away from the plate and force the pitcher to throw outside.  Take what the defense gives you. Let the ball travel and stay inside the baseball.  

If you can't hit HRs opposite field in the majors, then you shouldn't be trying to hit home runs anyway.

Tony Gwynn would scoff at any shift put on him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, BackUpTheTruck said:

"98 MPH cutter in on your hands"

Back away from the plate and force the pitcher to throw outside.  Take what the defense gives you. Let the ball travel and stay inside the baseball.  

If you can't hit HRs opposite field in the majors, then you shouldn't be trying to hit home runs anyway.

Tony Gwynn would scoff at any shift put on him.

Not every player has the innate hand eye coordination Tony Gwynn had. 

You are taking an extreme outlier and wondering why everyone can’t hit like him

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, GrittyVeterans said:

Not every player has the innate hand eye coordination Tony Gwynn had. 

You are taking an extreme outlier and wondering why everyone can’t hit like him

I saw JMF hit doubles down the left field line and the right field line in the same game.  Simmons, Trout, and Fletcher hit to all fields as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The shift only concerns me in the effect it has in reducing runs scored.

Baseball isn't the only sport trying to increase scoring & speed up the game, in Hockey their now making goalie equipment smaller so more goals go in, 3 on 3 overtime has ended the value of shootout specialists. Both sports have gone thru a period of deadball/deadpuck in this decade with pitchers ERA's going down & goalie save percentages going up.
Perhaps put a limit on the shift, you can only do it once per inning or only once per batter but not exceeding 9 usages of the shift. While we are at it put a clock on how long a pitcher can waste time in between pitches, if he goes over 22 seconds a ball is added to the count to the current batter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let’s flip the script.  Let’s say they outlaw or ban the shift, and say all infielders must be on the dirt or in front of it to start the play, no one can be on the outfield grass.  Couldn’t we then say the pitcher “just needs to execute his pitch”?   If a guy is a dead pull hitter pitch hit hard and away.   It’s the same thing, only different.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, calscuf said:

I’d really like to hear how Craig hasn’t beaten the shift.

Craig would drop a bunt down the third base line to beat the shift. Babe Ruth learned that trick from him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol so the reason they dont take the free single is because they cant get it down 4 out of 4 times, but probably only 2 out of 4 times, and a .500 batting average is not good enough. Calhoun was balling out too hard to settle for being a .500 hitter with low power.

Although I would agree that bunting is easier than hitting grounders with full swings, which is why bunting ever became a thing in the first place. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ValbuenaBatFlip said:

Seems like a bunch of whiny excuses for not being able to go opposite field... teams and staff have used analysis to understand that there are many Left-Handed "Power" type hitters that struggle to hit opposite field. Therefore you have shifts like this happen, and rightfully so. 

 

It's not about hitting the other way.  You have to hit a ground ball the other way.  Outfielders dont shift! I would be really impressed  if you can find a hitter that candidates hit a 90+ mph pitch the opposite way on the ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, BackUpTheTruck said:

I saw JMF hit doubles down the left field line and the right field line in the same game.  Simmons, Trout, and Fletcher hit to all fields as well.

They hit them on the ground?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

98 cutters on the hand?  I didn't realize every pitcher in the league became like Rivera.  I think fans understand why hitting to SS against verlander or Strasburg is difficult and no guarentee.  A mlb hitter should be able to hit to SS against a non ace top reliever. The real answer is they prefer HR. He literally scoffed at hitting. 500 lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Stradling said:

Let’s flip the script.  Let’s say they outlaw or ban the shift, and say all infielders must be on the dirt or in front of it to start the play, no one can be on the outfield grass.  Couldn’t we then say the pitcher “just needs to execute his pitch”?   If a guy is a dead pull hitter pitch hit hard and away.   It’s the same thing, only different.   

Nobody is outlawing opposite field hits so your entire statement is based on a false argument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Erstad Grit said:

98 cutters on the hand?  I didn't realize every pitcher in the league became like Rivera.  I think fans understand why hitting to SS against verlander or Strasburg is difficult and no guarentee.  A mlb hitter should be able to hit to SS against a non ace top reliever. The real answer is they prefer HR. He literally scoffed at hitting. 500 lol

David Ortiz did fine with the shift put on him because he was truly a great power hitter.  His final season was one of his best.  

The Angels can't seem to handle David Price's 88 MPH cutter in on the hands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pitchers are not throwing pitches on the inside corner with the shift. They are trying to get these idiots to use their same open pull swing on pitches they will roll over on for ground balls or pop ups. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kole Clahoun has terrific hand eye coordination, but has been pull happy his entire career.

If he learned to hit ground balls down the third base line on a consistent basis, and opposing teams refuse to call off the shift in order to limit Calhoun's "power," Kole could hit .400.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Adam said:

I love the shift!

I think it's great. 

I would like to see a team shift all 4 infielders to the left to slow right handed pull hitters such as Pujols.  The pitcher has a shorter run to first than the batter.  Right fielder can play extra shallow for ground balls.

I would also like to see, in the National League, in obvious bunting situations when the pitcher is hitting, 6 infielders.  The left and right filders can come in and cover the push bunt and drag bunt.  The third and first baseman can play on the grass.  Dare the pitcher to swing away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night, Segura at SS was playing well onto the OF grass when Pujols was at bat. Couldn't remember seeing that kind of positioning before for a righty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that's just about the most stupid GD thing I've read so far this month.

1. No one says that you are supposed to just 'hit the other way'. Everyone is saying to BUNT the other way. Totally different level of difficulty.

2. If you're not satisfied with a batting average of .500, there is something seriously wrong with your head.

3. MAYBE you would have gotten a double and a hr and gone 2-4. But, its far more likely that you would have just gone 0-4 instead of getting two singles.

4. Aren't you supposed to pop it into the outfield if there is a runner on third and less than two outs? Most ground balls seem likely to beat the runner to home, unless they are a really slow grounder or the infield is playing REALLY deep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ValbuenaBatFlip said:

Seems like a bunch of whiny excuses for not being able to go opposite field... teams and staff have used analysis to understand that there are many Left-Handed "Power" type hitters that struggle to hit opposite field. Therefore you have shifts like this happen, and rightfully so. 

 

https://www.mlb.com/video/gallos-bunt-beats-the-shift/c-1977036883

https://www.mlb.com/video/gallo-bunts-against-the-shift/c-2133835183

Weird what happens when he actually bunts. Almost enough to make you wonder if a hit is better than an out. Almost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're all missing the point the hitters made. If the hitter goes 2-4 with two bunts down the left side, in their mind (and most likely backed statistically) the team is then required to hit a double or two additional singles in order for him to score. Therefore, the hitter is saying (and again, most likely hammered into him by statistical departments in the front office) the team has a better chance of scoring a run if he goes up there swinging for a line drive or a fly ball, even if it results in an out into the shift. 

They gave the exact example that shifting someone like David Ortiz and having him bunt down the third base line, the defense is perfectly fine with it because the chances that someone behind him strings two singles or a double together is low, and Ortiz isn't a threat to steal so he's essentially stuck on first base until he's moved forward by the hitters behind him. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this