Rob Manfred Says MLB Could Limit Shifts in the Future

Ryan Phillips
Rob Manfred, Division Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two
Rob Manfred, Division Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two / Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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Rob Manfred made some news on Friday during an interview on The Dan Patrick Show. Major League Baseball's commissioner talked about potential rule changes in the game during the segment. One section that stood out was Manfred's discussion on shifts, saying they could be limited in the future.

Here's the pull quote that stood out:

The full interview with Dan Patrick below:

While I may not love shifts, they should be a completely legal. Baseball has leaned so heavily into analytics and advanced scouting that shifts are a natural progression of teams looking at numbers and being smart. The emphasis shouldn't be on ending or modifying them, but on hitters beating them. If a left-handed hitter can't hit the ball to the left side of the infield, why should the defense have to move to accommodate him?

I don't love seeing players on my favorite team constantly hitting into shifts, but why punish smart strategy if players can't adjust? It's not like there's some complicated formula to beating a shift. If a third baseman is playing towards second base against a lefty, that hitter should learn to lay down a bunt or hit the ball to the opposite field instead of pulling the ball constantly.

Punishing teams for being smart would be an incredibly dumb move by MLB. That said, given Manfred's tenure so far, that's about what we should expect.

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