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Increase in defensive shifts

The defensive shift has taken over, but some hitters are fighting back

Originally Published: June 10, 2014
By Doug Mittler | ESPN The Magazine

FOR MUCH OF the first 120 years of baseball, infielders treated nearly every batter the same, playing him straight up, ignoring whatever tendencies he might have to pull the ball. Then eight years ago, the Rays shifted the shortstop to the right side of the diamond when David Ortiz dug in. Now, employing advanced metrics that track every batted ball, every team uses the shift. "It's kind of like the IRS finding different ways to find dollars," says Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, whose ...

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