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View Full Version : The David Ortiz shift


gbergman
04-18-2006, 06:29 PM
Watching the Red Sox, Devil rays game they had a new shift i have never seen. 4 Guys at deep out field depth, the short stop over second, second base in shallow right and then first basemen hugging the line. If david ever learns to bunt or hit ground balls away he could get on base every time cause there is no one near 3rd and he has good enough speed to beat a bunt out in that shift

samram
04-18-2006, 06:50 PM
I think that's pretty common these days. The Sox use it for quite a few guys. Some teams will use it for Thome this year too.

ilsox7
04-18-2006, 07:08 PM
Watching the Red Sox, Devil rays game they had a new shift i have never seen. 4 Guys at deep out field depth, the short stop over second, second base in shallow right and then first basemen hugging the line. If david ever learns to bunt or hit ground balls away he could get on base every time cause there is no one near 3rd and he has good enough speed to beat a bunt out in that shift

The instant he laid down a bunt or two the shift would go away. And if his hits started to trend toward the opposite way, the shift would go away. The teams that put on such shifts do so b/c their scouting/analysis tells them they will save more outs than give up hits. When that advantage is taken away, the shift disappears.

Lip Man 1
04-18-2006, 10:27 PM
Teams have been doing that since as far back as Ted Williams' day.

Lip

Ol' No. 2
04-18-2006, 10:32 PM
Teams have been doing that since as far back as Ted Williams' day.

LipProbably farther.

They do it because they WANT you to try to hit the other way. Williams wouldn't do it, and Ortiz won't either.

Iwritecode
04-19-2006, 09:37 AM
Watching the Red Sox, Devil rays game they had a new shift i have never seen. 4 Guys at deep out field depth, the short stop over second, second base in shallow right and then first basemen hugging the line. If david ever learns to bunt or hit ground balls away he could get on base every time cause there is no one near 3rd and he has good enough speed to beat a bunt out in that shift

IIRC, the Sox used it last year in the ALDS. Iguchi fielded a number of ground balls in shallow right field.

I've seen it used many times against Thome already this year.

Baby Fisk
04-19-2006, 09:38 AM
Carlos Delgado also gets a shift.

viagracat
04-19-2006, 10:46 AM
Right, you have some straight pull hitters, and if the pitcher works the inside part of the plate, they'll hit 'em where they are.

I've seen this too, more often toward the end of a game.

ondafarm
04-19-2006, 11:00 AM
I've played with a few hitters who had shifts installed against them and I'd always ask them about it. I was always classified as a spray hitter, meaning my outs came equally in all fields. Most guys arguements are summarized like this.

Hitting a baseball is hard. Hitting a baseball thrown by a professional who's sole job is to make it as physically difficult for you to do so is the hardest thing in sports. Thanks to my talents, hard work and skill, I am able to hit a baseball and hit it hard. That's my game. Everytime I come to bat, I try to hit the ball hard. Why should I give that up to play someone else's game and bunt or hit squibblers down the third base line? Even if I get a single every time, I am reducing my game. There are very few times in baseball when getting just a single is better than hitting a homer, like I can do if I swing my way. So I'll keep swinging my way.

soxfan13
04-19-2006, 11:14 AM
Watching the Red Sox, Devil rays game they had a new shift i have never seen. 4 Guys at deep out field depth, the short stop over second, second base in shallow right and then first basemen hugging the line. If david ever learns to bunt or hit ground balls away he could get on base every time cause there is no one near 3rd and he has good enough speed to beat a bunt out in that shift

They are not paying him to be a slap hitter with 10 HRs

Chicken Dinner
04-19-2006, 11:24 AM
Did you notice that Clement shaved his chin hair?? He looked different.

samram
04-19-2006, 11:40 AM
I've played with a few hitters who had shifts installed against them and I'd always ask them about it. I was always classified as a spray hitter, meaning my outs came equally in all fields. Most guys arguements are summarized like this.

Hitting a baseball is hard. Hitting a baseball thrown by a professional who's sole job is to make it as physically difficult for you to do so is the hardest thing in sports. Thanks to my talents, hard work and skill, I am able to hit a baseball and hit it hard. That's my game. Everytime I come to bat, I try to hit the ball hard. Why should I give that up to play someone else's game and bunt or hit squibblers down the third base line? Even if I get a single every time, I am reducing my game. There are very few times in baseball when getting just a single is better than hitting a homer, like I can do if I swing my way. So I'll keep swinging my way.

I have no problem with that argument. It's not like these shifts are really stopping these guys since they hit the ball in the air most of the time anyway. Ortiz was a .300, 40, 140 guy last year- the shift isn't exactly holding him down.

Frater Perdurabo
04-19-2006, 12:44 PM
If a batter is particularly big or has long arms, could he not just decide to set himself up further away from the plate, making it more likely that he would hit an inside pitch with the sweet spot of the bat? If the pitcher came further inside, wouldn't those pitches then be called balls? If the pitcher then throws over the middle of the plate, the batter then goes the opposite way because to him it's "outside?" Obviously the batter wouldn't have the outside half of the plate covered very well, so this might only work for a batter with long arms.

RKMeibalane
04-19-2006, 12:47 PM
If a batter is particularly big or has long arms, could he not just decide to set himself up further away from the plate, making it more likely that he would hit an inside pitch with the sweet spot of the bat? If the pitcher came further inside, wouldn't those pitches then be called balls? If the pitcher then throws over the middle of the plate, the batter then goes the opposite way because to him it's "outside?" Obviously the batter wouldn't have the outside half of the plate covered very well, so this might only work for a batter with long arms.

:hurt

"I tried that, and teams started pitching me outside because I couldn't cover the outer-half of the plate."

ondafarm
04-19-2006, 12:54 PM
If a batter is particularly big or has long arms, could he not just decide to set himself up further away from the plate, making it more likely that he would hit an inside pitch with the sweet spot of the bat? If the pitcher came further inside, wouldn't those pitches then be called balls? If the pitcher then throws over the middle of the plate, the batter then goes the opposite way because to him it's "outside?" Obviously the batter wouldn't have the outside half of the plate covered very well, so this might only work for a batter with long arms.

And any catcher above little league knows that a batter standing far from the plate wants the ball away, a batter standing close to the plate wants the ball inside. Also, the outside corner is typically the most variable spot in baseball as far as pitches being called strikes that is. Placing myself at the whim of every umpire never was high on my list, you never walk off the islands, you know.

Iwritecode
04-19-2006, 01:14 PM
If a batter is particularly big or has long arms, could he not just decide to set himself up further away from the plate, making it more likely that he would hit an inside pitch with the sweet spot of the bat? If the pitcher came further inside, wouldn't those pitches then be called balls? If the pitcher then throws over the middle of the plate, the batter then goes the opposite way because to him it's "outside?" Obviously the batter wouldn't have the outside half of the plate covered very well, so this might only work for a batter with long arms.

I'm right-handed and was always a center to left-center hitter. No matter what I did I could never get the ball to go to the right side. I think some of it had to do with bat speed. By the time I saw the ball and decided I wanted to hit it, I could still get the bat out and around enough to pull the ball.

Everytime I tried to wait and let the ball get a little deeper I either still hit it to center or swung and missed it...

Some guys are just natural pull hitters. Thome, Ortiz, Vaughn...

Bump34
04-19-2006, 01:33 PM
I think that's pretty common these days. The Sox use it for quite a few guys. Some teams will use it for Thome this year too.

This was different... yes there are times when there are "four" outfielders when the 2nd baseman is playing a short rightfield...

But the Rays had four outfielders... Wigginton in left... Crawford in leftcenter... Gathright in rightcenter... and Branyan in Right... and Cantu playing in short right... so in essence there were actually 5 "outfielders...
This was the first time I had EVER seen a shift like it...

DeadMoney
04-19-2006, 09:22 PM
This was different... yes there are times when there are "four" outfielders when the 2nd baseman is playing a short rightfield...

But the Rays had four outfielders... Wigginton in left... Crawford in leftcenter... Gathright in rightcenter... and Branyan in Right... and Cantu playing in short right... so in essence there were actually 5 "outfielders...
This was the first time I had EVER seen a shift like it...

That's what I thought the original poster wrote, but everyone who was responding was talking about the shift of four infielders, with the second baseman playing in shallow RF, so I didn't respond. And since you're paid to get this information to a listener, I'll trust it.

That's a really odd shift. So I guess the D-Rays 'book' on Ortiz is that he's strictly a pull hitter on ground balls and low drives, but can spray it anywhere when he hits it in the air. Hmmm...