Earlier today, I was sent a link from Twitter follower Jonathan Holbert, talking about how baseball's defensive shifts continue to grow. I thought the article was an interesting read for multiple reasons. First, as you know, we've been tracking the Pirates' usage of defensive shifts a lot on this site. So that's always a topic I'm watching for.
It seems that other teams took notice to the success the Pirates had with shifts last year. The article talks about how the Houston Astros tried to implement shifts during the 2013 season, but the pitchers objected. This year they showed their pitchers the data of how the increase in shifts helped turn the Pirates infield from a middle of the pack group to one of the best defenses in the majors in one year. The Pirates had the same infield defense from 2012 to 2013, so you could argue that the key difference came with the added shifts.
I don't know if the Pirates are the poster child for the defensive shifts. The Rays have been shifting 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.