Garrett Jones is one of the biggest pull hitters in baseball. (Photo credit: David Hague)
The Pirates did not need much help to hit into outs over the first week of the season, they were doing a good job all by themselves. Cubs manager Dale Sveum decided to make life a little more difficult for one of the Bucs' best hitters, Garrett Jones.
On Opening Day, Sveum shifted his infield to have three of his infielders on the right side. Jones hit into the shift in his first three at-bats, only reaching on a first-inning error by infielder Brent Lillibridge.
"I guess it's just that time of year right now, I'm just a little out in front," Jones said. "Teams pick up on that."
That was a day the shift worked. It's a bold strategy, Cotton, but does it really pay off for teams that use it?...
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James dabbles in the baseballey-writey world. He won the SABR Analytics Conference Research Award for contemporary baseball analysis. It was for that defensive shifts piece, you remember that? Not a huge deal, he also lost a bunch of other awards.
He has also written for NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh Sports Report and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
By night, James is a television news reporter and weekend anchor for WKBN and WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio. Makes sense, seeing as how his degree from the University of Southern California is in Broadcast Journalism.
James dispenses more bad jokes at his Twitter account, @JamesSantelli. It's there that he promises to write in the first-person.