Dewan: Who gives a shift?

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on October 23, 2014:

The 2015 Bill James Handbook will be on bookshelves on November 1, but we wanted to give you a bit of a sneak preview. This is an abridged version of the introduction for the new Shifts section.

Let’s address the main question first. Who does give a shift? Answer: the Houston Astros. Prior to this season, the highest single-season total of shifts deployed by a team was 599 by the Baltimore Orioles in 2013. Six teams exceeded that total in 2014, but the Astros crushed it. The lowly Houston Astros, losers of 92 games, more than doubled the Orioles total with 1,341 shifts this past year.

Over the past four seasons the number of shifts in Major League Baseball, as measured by a ball hit into play when a shift is in effect, has nearly doubled every year. Here are the totals by year.

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Originally published: October 23, 2014. Last Updated: October 23, 2014.