Joe Girardi Would Ban the Infield Shift

New York Yankees’ manager, Joe Girardi told Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal that he would ban infield shifts if he were the commissioner.

Diamond pointed out that the rulebook was very clear that the pitcher and catcher are the only players who can’t move from their predetermined position.

According to FanGraphs’ new shift data, the Yankees have been shifted against the sixth most among MLB teams and have the 17th worst wRC+ when shifted on.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports recently posted current shift data that showed the Yankees eighth among MLB teams in shift percentage at 26.3 percent. The Houston Astros lead the majors at 41 percent while only six teams are below ten percent.

Girardi also told Diamond that the second base bag should be somewhat of a divider between the four infielders. Presumably two infielders on each side.

It is clear that infield shifts are here to stay and changing the rule to benefit hitters would be similar to banning change-ups or curveballs because they’re more difficult to hit. Let’s take a moment to be grateful that Girardi is not the commissioner and that we will soon (maybe) see exaggerated outfield defenses in the near future.

One Response

  1. nick

    It should be banned. The game was created a certain way with fielders in each area. This is why there are illegal defenses in the NBA… The game is made a certain way that’s it bottom line. Moderate shifting is fine but there should be some type of limit like Girardi is saying. I’m glad to see somebody well respected really spoke up about it.


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