The Houston Astros are looking to build on their 2017 World Series championship. But they already have the high-powered offense; now it’s all about innovation. And on defense, the Astros are looking to change things up.
So much so, in fact, that they are going to experiment with a 4-man outfield shift this season. Here’s a screenshot, for your curiosity.
Look at this defensive shift by the Astros…6 fielders standing in the outfield grass against former #STLCards first baseman Matt Adams, now with Washington. He could slap bunt a double down the 3rd base line. pic.twitter.com/TJkWWUnqMD
— Bill Pollock (@missourisports) March 22, 2018
But that’s not all. Here’s what manager A.J. Hinch has to say.
“It’s not a gimmick play as much as it’s a coverage. Like any shifting that you do, you’re trying to put guys in a position where we can cover the most ground that makes the most sense. And some guys, when you look at fly-ball rates and you look at where they actually hit the ball, you don’t want to defend an area where there’s minimal chance of those guys hitting it, and a lot of times that’s on the ground on the opposite side of the field.”
As always, Hinch and the Astros want to get into the head of the opposition.
“There’s a psychological part of this on the hitter that I’m looking at, too. How much does it mess with the psyche of the hitter? And I’ve watched, this spring, guys try to change their swing and try to hit the ball the other way and hit the ball to a gap. That’s largely advantage to us when big hitters like that do that.” buy baclofen online without prescription, buy lioresal online.
Will the Astros make this work? Or, will teams start trying to get clever with bunts down the third base line?