The Angels use the defensive shift way too much

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Updated: June 14, 2016

The concept has been around for years. To shift the defense or not to shift? That is the question many experts are considering. As far as the Angels are concerned, they seem to be focused on shifting.

The Angels have used a defensive shift more than all but three teams in baseball but many people do not support it. Pitchers especially oppose the shift because they are forced to pitch into the shift, meaning that if they expect a left-handed hitter to pull the ball most of the time, they are expected to not miss a pitch on the outside corner.

When the shift is used, especially for the Angels, it either makes or breaks the inning. If it works, it works extremely well. However, if it fails, it usually is the start of a rally or big inning.

The Angels have been hurt multiple times this season as a result of having a shift fail. A memorable game was May 7th versus the Tampa Bay Rays. Johnny Giavotella was behind second base as part of an infield shift and a normally routine ground-ball to second base rolled to right field and resulted in the start of a rally that ultimately beat the Angels 4-2.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi recently said that if he were commissioner, he would ban the shift. He, along with many others, believes baseball should stay the way it is with two infielders on the left side and two on the right.

With the advancement of the shift, it has forced hitters to adapt and work on hitting opposite field if their tendencies are to pull the ball. This all goes back to the idea that if the shift works, it works well, but if hitters can adapt, there is no need for it.


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