Tuesday, July 12

Yes, The Infield Shift Works. Probably.

"The infield shift is this decade’s defining baseball tactic, the most salient on-field signal that we aren’t in the aughts anymore. But, strange as it sounds, we still don’t know how well — or even whether — the shift actually works. Our best evidence that the shift is worth doing is, well, that it’s so frequently done. Presumably, front offices wouldn’t advocate shifting — often over the objections of coaches and players — unless they thought it was wise. That’s not nothing; teams are stocked with smart people who have access to better data than we do. But it would be nice not to have to appeal to authority to make a case for the shift. ..."