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The Detroit Tigers deployed a shift against Texas Rangers batter Joey Gallo so extreme that MLB should use it as reason to ban it.
The Detroit Tigers have an extreme method for dealing with Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers.
During Tuesday’s game, people noticed how the Tigers were one step away from having zero infielders in the infield. John Schoop had a foot on the dirt.
On Wednesday, Detroit corrected that alignment … by going all-in on the shift with all three infielders playing on the grass.
That’s a ridiculous shift, one that highlights what fans don’t like about the strategy.
The Tigers’ shift against Joey Gallo was extreme
It just looks wrong for one. Infielders should be in the infield. Having them out on the grass like that shouldn’t fly. A rule requiring infielders to be on the dirt would be entirely fair and within the spirit of the game. An additional regulation requiring infielders on both sides of second base would be welcome too, at least to some baseball fans.
The impact of a shift like that isn’t great for putting balls in play, either. It’s not as simple as telling a player to change direction. Gallo is at his best when he’s blasting balls to the right. He has more incentive to swing for the fences than anything.
Then again, Gallo found a way to beat the shift on Wednesday. He put a ball up the middle for a single.
The risk outweighed the reward for the Tigers in that case. Gallo went on to score when John Hicks doubled on the next at-bat. He flied out to left in the fourth and struck out swinging in the sixth.
Gallo went into Wednesday’s game batting .230/.388/.505. He’s having an All-Star season for the Rangers with 24 home runs. His numbers would probably be even better if the shift wasn’t a factor.