Dewan: What is the upper limit of shifts?

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on March 30, 2015:

The SABR Analytics Conference took place a couple of weeks ago in Phoenix. I strongly recommend attending this annual conference if you are interested in baseball analytics. During one of the luncheons I was talking to Rob Neyer and Brian Kenny about shifts. The usage of the shift has been increasing over the last few years, but I shared with them how Baseball Info Solutions developed software almost 10 years ago now that suggested a shift on dozens of different batters rather than just the handful that were being shifted then. It took a few years for baseball to catch on, but they did and it’s making a difference.

The software, called BIS-D, currently suggests a full Ted Williams shift (three infielders to the left or right of second base) on well over 100 different batters. Rob asked if it’s possible to use the software to determine an upper limit on the number of shifts. If every batter suggested by the software was shifted, how many shifts would there be? Might that be the upper limit of shifts? A great idea!

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 30, 2015. Last Updated: March 30, 2015.