Kyne: Evaluating the Phillies’ infield shifts

From Andrew Kyne at ACTA Sports on June 13, 2018:

Jake Arrieta’s recent comments called attention to the Philadelphia Phillies’ infield shifts. The veteran right-hander complained that his team is “the worst in the league with shifts,” and by our Shift Runs Saved metric at Sports Info Solutions, he is indeed correct. The Phillies rank last in Major League Baseball in Shift Runs Saved, costing themselves eight runs while no other team has cost themselves more than two runs. What has gone wrong for Gabe Kapler’s club?

Most of the Phillies’ shift struggles have come against right-handed batters. Despite shifting righties much less frequently, shifts have cost them seven runs against righties and one run against lefties. On groundballs and short line drives, right-handers have hit .326 against the Phillies’ full Ted Williams shifts (three infielders on the left side of second base) and .381 against their partial Ted Williams shifts (two players significantly out of normal positioning).

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Originally published: June 13, 2018. Last Updated: June 13, 2018.