Reiff: Shifting in baseball is at an all-time high

From Brian Reiff at Sports Info Solutions on August 30, 2018:

Something monumental happened in baseball this past weekend—and it wasn’t the Orioles being given a nationally televised game.

By the end of play on Sunday, teams had shifted on balls in play 28,249 times, surpassing the previous record of 28,130 set in 2016. They are now on pace to shift just under 35,000 times this season, which would represent a 31 percent increase over last season’s total.

Shifts had been increasing steadily since 2009, when Sports Info Solutions first started tracking them, until declining slightly in 2017. But they now appear to be on the rise again. It’s not just one or two teams carrying the pack, either—25 of the 30 teams have increased their shift usage this season.

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Originally published: August 30, 2018. Last Updated: August 30, 2018.