Goold: Shifts in approach aid historic turnaround for sure-handed Cardinals

From Derrick Goold at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on September 8, 2019:

In the eighth inning Wednesday, as the Cardinals tried to cobble together innings from the bullpen, manager Mike Shildt met his infielders on the mound for his sixth and final pitching change of the game. The switch, from lefty Andrew Miller to righthander Giovanny Gallegos, meant different alignments for the infield, a shift to their shifts, and while Shildt came out to take the ball from the pitcher he also had something to give the fielders.

In the palm of his hand was a token of what could be a historic turnaround.

For the past few weeks, Cardinals infielders have carried onto the field small, laminated cards that direct where to position themselves and when for each opposing hitter. Call them a Pocket Oquendo. These new cards, which look like slender Monopoly property cards, have a splash of color and use a number system to suggest how far to shift, if at all. They’ve helped cut down on the “whistling back and forth” with the dugout, one coach said, and they’ve augmented an aspect of the most dramatic defensive improvement in baseball.

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Originally published: September 9, 2019. Last Updated: September 9, 2019.