Dewan: We don’t need to abolish the shift

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on June 14, 2017:


I was recently asked the following question by Mike Murphy (or as many know him, Murph), one of the premier sports radio hosts in Chicago for years:

“I hear more talk again popping up of banning the shift. (MLB wants more hits, more excitement, etc.). Idea: You have Defensive Runs Saved. But, do you have Offensive Runs Lost?”

He went on to explain that he was particularly curious because he had seen a few plays recently where it was clear that the shift had taken away hits from Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber, and he was interested if there was a way to see how much the shift was hurting offensive players.

In his question, Murph hits on an important concept that comes up often when I talk with people around the game about Defensive Runs Saved. When we refer to the defense saving runs, those runs are just as much lost by the offense, so we can understand the impact that defense has from an offensive perspective as well. In the case of shifts in particular, we track Shift Runs Saved, which measures the value of the shift relative to traditional defensive positioning.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: June 14, 2017. Last Updated: June 14, 2017.