Dewan: Edwin Encarnacion and defensive shifts

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on July 11, 2013:

I recently attended a Blue Jays-Red Sox game and really liked the way the Red Sox were putting a defensive shift on the right-handed hitting Edwin Encarnacion. Until the last couple of years a full shift on a right-handed batter was unheard of in Major League Baseball. Now, the Red Sox were deploying a full Ted Williams shift with lefty Jon Lester on the mound against Encarnacion, with three infielders to the left of second base.

Later in the game, with a righty on the mound, they went away from the full shift. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was only a few steps left of the normal second base position, clearly to the right of the bag with a right-handed pitcher throwing. With Lester on the mound, the Red Sox were very aggressive, putting Pedroia about half way between the normal shortstop position and the second base bag.

For the four-game series, Encarnacion put a total of 15 balls in play. Of the 5 balls in play versus left-handed pitchers, the Red Sox defensively shifted Encarnacion 4 times. Of the 10 balls in play versus right-handed pitchers, the Red Sox defensively shifted Encarnacion only once.

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Originally published: July 11, 2013. Last Updated: July 11, 2013.