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Wayne Kirby's Outfield Positioning (A rant thread)

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You always try to cheat the margins. Someone has to be the smart guy in the room. Unless you are conceding it is someone other than you, case reopened.

Maybe so but psychologically if I am a pitcher and I see Kirby placing both corner outfielders in the power alleys I would view that as no confidence in my ability to handle the hitter. And then when the hitter bloops a sure out that falls in that should have been an easy out with normal positioning it would surely irritate the crap out of me.

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This is interesting, but let's be fair. If you don't like the positioning, it's on Buck. I am relatively certain that he can see where the OF is positioned and if he didn't like it I am pretty sure he would mention it to Kirby.

I'm not saying I agree of disagree with the original post, just saying I believe it is a decision that has been made at the top.

Probably so - good point. I think Kirby likely does have a lot of leeway though.

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I may be alone in this as I am more of an old school baseball fan but I would much rather see Kirby cease his standard positioning of the corner outfielders in the power alley or gaps. Last night was a perfect example of the stupidity of it.

He had Richard playing in essentially left center and the hitter doesn't get around on Tillman's fastball which seemed to have decent movement and bloops a very high pop up that even a slow left fielder playing a normal left field position easily catches....

I would much rather take my chances of getting beat by a ball hammered up the gap than a stupid bloop that should have been an easy out.

You are not alone. I can't believe I'm in agreement with you, but I've been saying this for some time. All position players should be placed depending on the pitcher and the hitter. I wouldn't call the positioning the Orioles do with their OF a shift either. It's their normal positioning.

And it isn't working.

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You are not alone. I can't believe I'm in agreement with you, but I've been saying this for some time. All position players should be placed depending on the pitcher and the hitter. I wouldn't call the positioning the Orioles do with their OF a shift either. It's their normal positioning.

And it isn't working.

I could at least understand it when a pitcher is running out of gas or getting hit hard, but not as you also state as their normal positioning most of the time.

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The problem is the OF should be positioning themselves from pitch to pitch according to the next pitch and the hitter's tendencies. Like the old days with guys like Mays and Blair doing it. But they don't do that now.

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As a fan, it's very frustrating when a ball that would be catchable from a "standard" spot isn't caught by a fielder who is in some kind of a shift. It stands out because, when you first see the ball come off the bat, you assume it will be caught, and then when it isn't, it's very aggravating.

That said, the O's have a ton of data on where guys hit the ball, and I have little doubt that their positioning takes away more hits than it gives up, compared to standard positioning. So, I'm willing to live with the occasional fluky result, even if it is annoying to witness it when it occurs, like Moreland's bloop hit on Thursday night.

As an aside, I think the infield shift was as much of a cause of that Moreland hit dropping in as the outfield shift was. Either Hardy or Manny could have gotten to that Moreland bloop from a normal infield position.

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As a fan, it's very frustrating when a ball that would be catchable from a "standard" spot isn't caught by a fielder who is in some kind of a shift. It stands out because, when you first see the ball come off the bat, you assume it will be caught, and then when it isn't, it's very aggravating.

That said, the O's have a ton of data on where guys hit the ball, and I have little doubt that their positioning takes away more hits than it gives up, compared to standard positioning. So, I'm willing to live with the occasional fluky result, even if it is annoying to witness it when it occurs, like Moreland's bloop hit on Thursday night.

As an aside, I think the infield shift was as much of a cause of that Moreland hit dropping in as the outfield shift was. Either Hardy or Manny could have gotten to that Moreland bloop from a normal infield position.

Statcast takes defensive shifts from being an art to being a science. Teams not only know where a batter is likely to hit the ball but how long it takes their fielder to get to that spot to make a play.

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Kirby's outfield positioning is an extension of the relatively recent trend in baseball. (The Shift)

You could call it a trend... you could call it a fad... or you could shake your fist at it, and call it one of those "newfangled nuisances that are ruining the game". Whatever your opinion on the subject is, one this is certain... it will change. Trends in baseball are like a big lumbering ship. Someone decides to steer a new course, and it slowly catches on. "The shift" is becoming pervasive because it devalues predictable hitters (and pull hitters in particular). The trend will continue until predictable hitters are devalued, and greater emphasis is put on place hitting... at which time the rudder will be turned the other way, and the long slow turn of baseball will move in the other direction. (i.e. value of the shift will be diminished)

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While complaining of the occasional ball that falls in that MAY have been caught without the "Shift" there is a need to look at the runs/hits prevented by the positioning aspect of th "Shift". Those go unnoticed by most.

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Kirby's outfield positioning is an extension of the relatively recent trend in baseball. (The Shift)

You could call it a trend... you could call it a fad... or you could shake your fist at it, and call it one of those "newfangled nuisances that are ruining the game". Whatever your opinion on the subject is, one this is certain... it will change. Trends in baseball are like a big lumbering ship. Someone decides to steer a new course, and it slowly catches on. "The shift" is becoming pervasive because it devalues predictable hitters (and pull hitters in particular). The trend will continue until predictable hitters are devalued, and greater emphasis is put on place hitting... at which time the rudder will be turned the other way, and the long slow turn of baseball will move in the other direction. (i.e. value of the shift will be diminished)

Cy Williams hit into a shift in the 1920's. I'm not sure how much of a fad the shift is at this point.

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The problem is the OF should be positioning themselves from pitch to pitch according to the next pitch and the hitter's tendencies. Like the old days with guys like Mays and Blair doing it. But they don't do that now.

Right. Spot on as a matter of fact!!

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Cy Williams hit into a shift in the 1920's. I'm not sure how much of a fad the shift is at this point.

FAD:a thing that becomes very popular in a short amount of time, and then is forgotten at about the same speed. :

The shift used to be unusual.

Now it is ubiquitous.

My contention is not that no one used to ever play the shift. Only that until recently, it had been unusual in the modern game. And that as hitters adjust by place hitting rather than dead-pulling... it will become unusual again.

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FAD:a thing that becomes very popular in a short amount of time, and then is forgotten at about the same speed. :

The shift used to be unusual.

Now it is ubiquitous.

My contention is not that no one used to ever play the shift. Only that until recently, it had been unusual in the modern game. And that as hitters adjust by place hitting rather than dead-pulling... it will become unusual again.

Yeah sort of easy to predict eventually when these shifts are the norm for years someone is going to come along and either start playing everyone straight up or slightly moved depending on whether a right handed or left handed batter and be hailed as an innovator or genius - LOL.

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Yeah sort of easy to predict eventually when these shifts are the norm for years someone is going to come along and either start playing everyone straight up or slightly moved depending on whether a right handed or left handed batter and be hailed as an innovator or genius - LOL.

Too bad neither you or I will live to see that. They have this newfangled stat cast thing And iPADs (another gadget) in the dugouts.

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