Last year we focused on the defensive shifts that were employed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, aimed at getting better results for their ground ball heavy pitchers. James Santelli broke it down last summer, and pointed out the impact the shifts were having on the overall success of the team. As a side note, that article by James has been nominated for a SABR award, and the details to vote for the article can be found here.
The Pirates aren't stopping their shifting plan with their infield. This year they plan to focus more on outfield shifts.
"We've actually dug deeper into our outfield defensive metrics as well, as far as positioning going into this season, for the guys who aren't ground ball pitchers," Clint Hurdle said today. "So it's definitely something that we continue, as we continue to try and evolve as an organization and look for separators within the game that we can do better, based on the talent that we have."
Outfield shifts aren't new. Teams move their outfielders a...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.