Beating the Shift - Fantasy Baseball Cafe 2015 Fantasy Baseball Cafe
100% Deposit Bonus for Cafe Members!

Return to Baseball Leftovers

Beating the Shift

Moderator: Baseball Moderators

Re: Beating the Shift

Postby DbacksRback » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:54 am

buffalobillsrul2002 wrote:Exactly... also to have him start his swing later to slap pitches the other way would be terrible for him... it'd be like a whole new swing. That's why all players are flawed, because there is no perfect swing. For instance, Ichiro is a great average hitter, but because he just slaps the ball, he struggles to hit HR. Whereas Howard can't hit ground balls or line drives the other way to increase his avg, but when he gets into one, the ball goes very far.


Its not about slapping the ball the other way. Its more of trying to drive pitches on the outside of the plate the other way rather than pulling out as he usually does. I watch the Phillies almost every night and while I understand Howards strength is power I dont see it hurting to drop one down the line or at least trying. So many times hes hit a ball thats a hit for a non shift but gets stopped. It just seems like a team is taking advantage of a weakness but giving an opportunity and nothings being done about it.
________________________________________

Image
DbacksRback
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Lucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 2879
(Past Year: 57)
Joined: 2 Feb 2007
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Beating the Shift

Postby LloydChristmas » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:17 am

I was mulling this over some more. Obviously, Howard shouldn't try to change his swing or make any adjustment that's going to hurt his overall productivity. In my experience though, working with a player to drive the ball to the opposite field only helps that player's productivity. That's really not the matter at hand here though. It's pure and unsupported speculation to talk about whether or whether not Ryan Howard would be better off changing his swing.

He should though do the minimum required to force a team to take off the overshift. Obviously, throwing down a bunt will probably hurt his productivity in the short run because he won't be swinging for the fences but it will, in my opinion, force teams to start playing him straight up. At this point, all those ground ball rockets he pulls will turn into hits.

A manager would be stupid to sit in an overshift while a hitter lays down bunts and gets uncontested singles and I think they'd sooner abandon the shift. Once again, pure speculation, but I have the faith in Ryan Howard as an elite athlete to have the ability to bunt the ball anywhere in the area to the 3rd base side of the pitcher. That's all it would take to get on base. Once again, we can talk about the logistics and feasibility of Ryan Howard bunting, but, again, it really all comes down to forcing the defense back to the normal alignment. At that point, his productivity would increase, which is the ultimate goal.

The question, that really is a matter of opinion at this point (though I'm sure it could be statistically answered by someone at FanGraphs), is whether any value that Ryan Howard would lose from bunting for a base hit, say every 4th game, would be offset by the added value he would receive from turning outs due to the overshift into hits.
LloydChristmas
College Coach
College Coach

User avatar

Posts: 157
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Beating the Shift

Postby zepfan » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:36 am

I'm not sure how successful you'd have to be for it to be worth it but for what it's worth I know David Ortiz has beaten the shift with bunts down the line at least a few times. I saw it once, it was pretty cool. :-b
Image

"My cat's breath smells like cat food." - R. Wiggum
zepfan
Major League Manager
Major League Manager

User avatar
CafeholicMock(ing) DrafterEagle Eye
Posts: 1990
(Past Year: 5)
Joined: 29 Mar 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Beating the Shift

Postby fezzik » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:09 am

I think him bunting to third with none on and zero out could be beneficial, but he should just swing away if anyone's on base...or if there are two outs with nobody on.
Image
fezzik
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Eagle Eye
Posts: 2415
Joined: 9 Feb 2004
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Inside my head

Re: Beating the Shift

Postby lastingsgriller » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:17 am

obviously Ryan Howard cannnot hit hard the other way. or he does not want to alter his swing in any way. or he just doesn't feel comfortable doing it.

but it is possible for a left handed power hitter like that to use the whole field. Big fat prince fielder does and he keep the defense honest by doing so.

but then again, the lefty shift was pretty much invented to stop Ted Williams because he refused to go to left field. he thought it would be absolutely nuts to adjust the way he hits the ball. so he continued to hit right into the shift his whole career.. and he did all right.. and who am I to argue with Ted Williams..
Follow me on the twit! @chadmiller16
lastingsgriller
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe Ranker
Posts: 3882
(Past Year: 172)
Joined: 21 Jan 2009
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: ..skipping the light fandango.

Re: Beating the Shift

Postby swyck » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:53 am

lastingsgriller wrote:obviously Ryan Howard cannnot hit hard the other way. or he does not want to alter his swing in any way. or he just doesn't feel comfortable doing it.


Looking over his hittracker records you can see that Howard hits plenty of home runs to the opposite field. Maybe not as many this year as in other years, but most of his HRs are to center not right and about 40% are to left of dead center.

Obviously he doesn't hit his grounders to the left side, but that's not the same thing at all. He's not actually a dead pull hitter, and has plenty of power the other way.

http://www.hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2009_767&type=hitter

IMO altering a successful swing is a bad idea, but he does better when he goes with the pitches and drives balls the other way then when he tries to turn on them. He just needs to stay with that.
swyck
Major League Manager
Major League Manager

User avatar
Cafe Ranker
Posts: 1524
(Past Year: 14)
Joined: 7 Feb 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Beating the Shift

Postby buffalobillsrul2002 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:01 pm

swyck wrote:
lastingsgriller wrote:obviously Ryan Howard cannnot hit hard the other way. or he does not want to alter his swing in any way. or he just doesn't feel comfortable doing it.


Looking over his hittracker records you can see that Howard hits plenty of home runs to the opposite field. Maybe not as many this year as in other years, but most of his HRs are to center not right and about 40% are to left of dead center.

Obviously he doesn't hit his grounders to the left side, but that's not the same thing at all. He's not actually a dead pull hitter, and has plenty of power the other way.

http://www.hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2009_767&type=hitter

IMO altering a successful swing is a bad idea, but he does better when he goes with the pitches and drives balls the other way then when he tries to turn on them. He just needs to stay with that.


Correct. Doing this isn't "beating the shift" though; the OF already plays Howard straight up. I agree Howard should drive balls in the air the other way; I just don't think it helps Howard's swing to hit grounders the other way, there's a big difference here. Bunting to the 3rd base side of the pitcher might get him a hit every so often, but the problem is, how good would he be able to get at it? Would he be able to bunt for a hit 50% of the time that he tries to? Because he'd have to be at least 50% effective I'd think in order for managers to bother caring. And most likely the manager would just play the 3rd baseman straight up then, and still play 3 infielders on the right side of 2nd base (basically instead of having no 3rd baseman, now you'd have no SS).
buffalobillsrul2002
Major League Manager
Major League Manager


Posts: 1349
(Past Year: 3)
Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Home Cafe: Baseball

Re: Beating the Shift

Postby CadensDad » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:14 pm

Seems like we are splitting hairs here to me.
Image

“Never argue with a idiot, because first they will bring you down to their level. Then beat you with experience.”
CadensDad
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe RankerMock(ing) Drafter
Posts: 5977
(Past Year: 2)
Joined: 25 Feb 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Previous

Return to Baseball Leftovers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

Forums Articles & Tips Sleepers Rankings Leagues


  • Fantasy Baseball
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact