Last Year of the Shift in the MLB?

posted by Brendan Kennealy - 

Bryce Harper Hitting Against the Shift

The MLB is heading toward a world where defenses may be not allowed to set up a shift against opposing hitters. Bryce Harper will be a free agent this offseason, and his payday could be damaged if defenses are allowed to continue to utilize the shift against him.

Baseball has had their sport altered on a yearly basis, especially with the extension of the replay system. The shift being banned from defensive systems would be a good thing for hitters, especially left-handed hitters who tend to pull the ball more often than right-handed hitters.

A potential idea would be to not allow the shortstop to set up on the opposite side of second base before the pitch is thrown. The rule would be the same for the second baseman as well. It will be interesting to see what the MLB will do in regard to a team bringing in an outfielder to play as a fifth infielder, something that the Houston Astros utilize often.

There are definitely two sides to this argument, as some fans think that it is preventing hitters from hitting more home runs, while other fans are in support of the shift remaining in tact as hitters must be more complete hitters who can hit the ball to any part of the field.

A comical outcome of teams utilizing the shift is when they have three infielders on the right side of the infield and the third baseman set up where the shortstop is originally located at and the hitters lays down a bunt. Often times the team that had set up with the shift get upset about the hitter laying down the bunt, but hey... you have to hit it where the defenders aren't at.

This will certainly be a topic of discussion at the MLB Winter Meetings in Florida this offseason.

HARDWICK and RICHARDS

HARDWICK and RICHARDS

Nick Hardwick and Judson Richards host Hardwick & Richards a live, local sports talk show airing weekday mornings from 6-9am on XTRA 1360 AM Fox Sports San Diego. Nick Hardwick is a retired NFL player who spent 11 years as center with the San... Read more

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