Twins utilizing infield shifts more this season
NEW YORK -- The trend around baseball this season has been more infield shifts, and the Twins and Yankees have been taking advantage of that trend.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has used the shift against hitters such as Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira, while the Yankees have shifted against Oswaldo Arcia.
"It works -- no doubt," Gardenhire said. "There's a lot of parts to it. Hitters think about it. And I think that's part of the goal -- to get in their heads and have them try to shoot it the other way to get them out of their normal thought process. So if you see a guy trying to beat the shift, then you've probably started something pretty good because what they're doing isn't natural."
Gardenhire said the Twins are shifting much more this season and are using spray charts and video to their advantage. He said they alter their shifts based on the situation, and even make subtle adjustments with two strikes or two outs based on the data available on the hitter in those situations.
"All the time," Gardenhire said about how often they shift. "We've never shifted on Teixeira batting left-handed until this year, but he doesn't have a ground ball to the left side of the infield. But once you get guys on base or in scoring position, you make adjustments and it's not as heavy. But there are two-out and two-strike charts that show things a little bit different. So yeah, we've been using it quite a bit."