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I don't understand why hitters don't take advantage of this situation

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#1 kydoty

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:04 PM

As anyone who follows baseball knows, it's been an ongoing trend for a team to shift their infielders in accordance to the hitter's spray chart. The shifts are especially exaggerated for left handed pull hitters. Last night I took this image at Target Field while Adam Dunn was at bat.

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What bugs the crap out of me is this: Why don't these guys learn how to bunt!!!

I don't know about you, but if I saw a team doing that to me, I would think it would be a huge strategic advantage to be able to lay one down the line and walk to first base safely. Hell, it doesn't even half to be a good bunt. As long as it stays on the left side of the infield, the batter is going to make it to first safely. Then they would stop the shifts and you can go back to mashing the ball to the right side of the field.

And if I were a manager, to me it would be inexcusable to not try to take advantage of this situation. The defense is basically conceding a hit. It just doesn't make sense to me.

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#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:07 PM

It drives me insane. Bunt, damn it. Beat their shift.

#3 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:18 PM

They think they can beat the shift - and they would rather hit a home run (or strike out trying) than to bunt against a shift.

It's pride and arrogance and non-sensical unwritten rule following.

#4 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:23 PM

Statistics state that they probably should bunt occasionally just to keep the teams honest.

http://www.fangraphs...gers-ever-bunt/

#5 mike wants wins

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:23 PM

A: Pride. These are the same guys that feel "dissed" if they get $1 less than a friend on their multi million dollar deal, that are mad when they are asked to move to another position, or when they are moved in the batting order.

B: Skill. despite what we might think, it isn't easy to bunt. You want your best, slow footed, hitters practicing bunting, or practicing hitting?
Lighten up Francis....

#6 Boom Boom

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:31 PM

What was the context of the at-bat? What inning was it, and what was the score?

If it's early in the game, bunting only puts Dunn (and his speed) at first base. It also sets up a prime double-play situation. The Sox would still need at least two hits to drive him in, so why not let him swing away?

If it's late in the game and the score is close, if Dunn successfully bunts he's going to be pinch-run for, which could be a problem if that spot in the lineup comes up again.

Fairness in conversation - I'm strongly biased against just about every bunt if it's not done by a pitcher.

Edited by Boom Boom, 20 June 2014 - 02:34 PM.


#7 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:31 PM

Unwritten rules require you to eat a fastball for it and then all go wrestle over it at the pitchers mound like 4 year olds.

So, in other words, no good reason not to.

#8 gunnarthor

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:33 PM

I also suspect, but am not sure, that pitches pitch the hitters to pull by pitching in so it'll be harder to lay a bunt down the 3rd base side.

#9 gunnarthor

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:34 PM

Unwritten rules require you to eat a fastball for it and then all go wrestle over it at the pitchers mound like 4 year olds.

So, in other words, no good reason not to.

Constantly proving he doesn't understand the unwritten rules ...

#10 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:49 PM

Unwritten rules require you to eat a fastball for it and then all go wrestle over it at the pitchers mound like 4 year olds.

So, in other words, no good reason not to.


Well said.

#11 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:51 PM

Constantly proving he doesn't understand the unwritten rules ...


The thread in question indicates your suggestion is actually the reverse.

You seem to forget someone already ate a pitch for that this year.

#12 nicksaviking

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:54 PM

I also suspect, but am not sure, that pitches pitch the hitters to pull by pitching in so it'll be harder to lay a bunt down the 3rd base side.


I agree. Also, laying down a bunt on a 95 MPH fastball isn't easy no matter where the location of the pitch. It's not a 100% success rate even for good bunters and for these guys it'd be much less considering the bunt is not part of these players normall repertoir. I've never seen a stat on bunt success rates, but even for the guys you expect to bunt, you see a ton of pop ups and attempts that go foul. If David Ortiz has a .400 OBP and his bunting success rate was .500, would it really be in his best interest to lay it down when the best result is he'll only be standing on 1st?

I like the novelty of it and wouldn't mind seeing guys try it to keep the defense honest, but I don't know that it would work out as well as we'd assume.

Edited by nicksaviking, 20 June 2014 - 02:56 PM.


#13 GCTF

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:57 PM

Are we sure Dunn wouldn't still be thrown out if he bunted?

#14 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 03:42 PM

If Dunn dropped a bunt down successfully and reached base at a .600 clip from bunting, I still don't think teams would change its approach. Dunn IS dangerous because he has about as much raw power as any one in the game. Even though he strikes out a TON, he also still gets walked a lot. The fear is the long ball and that is the ONLY TOOL he has. If the ChiSox want him bunting when there is a shift, there's no reason he should even be in the lineup. His skill is hitting for power.

Kubel???? No excuse for it. He can't hit anything!

#15 kydoty

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 03:59 PM

If Dunn dropped a bunt down successfully and reached base at a .600 clip from bunting, I still don't think teams would change its approach. Dunn IS dangerous because he has about as much raw power as any one in the game. Even though he strikes out a TON, he also still gets walked a lot. The fear is the long ball and that is the ONLY TOOL he has. If the ChiSox want him bunting when there is a shift, there's no reason he should even be in the lineup. His skill is hitting for power.

Kubel???? No excuse for it. He can't hit anything!


Adam Dunn is an exception, as he hits the ball a long way, takes a lot of walks, and is absolute garbage at everything else.

But lately they're doing shifts for a lot more players...players who have a lot more tools to work with than Adam Dunn.

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#16 Steve Lein

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 04:38 PM

Well, I think the reason player's don't, is that most of the guys who these shifts are done for are guys like Dunn, who's offensive game is built around their power.

If they take this approach, you literally have eliminated their most dangerous tool from the game, so I would say this plays to your advantage as well.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#17 RIP BYTO

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 04:47 PM

If they don't bunt because of some unwritten rule, where is the unwritten rule that says you shouldn't being doing these exaggerated shifts?

#18 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:45 PM

I keep remembering Denny Hocking and his slap-bunts. If he can do that, even I could lay down a bunt down third.

#19 Thrylos

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:01 PM

OK. Got to think context. CONTEXT. Who do they shift like this? Adam Dunn, David Ortiz.

OK. Let's say they do bunt towards third and it is a good bunt. Then they got to RUN to first base.

Are you sure that the third baseman (from the SS position) or the pitcher cannot get to the ball and throw to the first baseman before any of those gentlemen reach safe?

They do not shift fast people...
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#20 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:04 PM

If they don't bunt because of some unwritten rule, where is the unwritten rule that says you shouldn't being doing these exaggerated shifts?


The problem lies with your attempt to make sense of what is essentially toddler logic for problem solving.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 20 June 2014 - 06:10 PM.


#21 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:08 PM

OK. Got to think context. CONTEXT. Who do they shift like this? Adam Dunn, David Ortiz.

OK. Let's say they do bunt towards third and it is a good bunt. Then they got to RUN to first base.

Are you sure that the third baseman (from the SS position) or the pitcher cannot get to the ball and throw to the first baseman before any of those gentlemen reach safe?

They do not shift fast people...


Even Ortiz could outrun a bunt with a shift, provided he can get it past the pitcher. The run and throw from a third baseman coming from short would be insanely difficult.

#22 Seth Stohs

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:53 PM

I'm pretty sure the Twins would happily give up a bunt single to Adam Dunn or David Ortiz.

#23 Seth Stohs

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:54 PM

And this has nothing to do with any unwritten rule stuff.

#24 TheLeviathan

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 07:12 PM

This may be helpful also: http://www.baseballp...articleid=23950

#25 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 07:22 PM

With no third baseman, it makes sense to me to drop a hard bunt down the third base line quite often. You don't have to bunt it well, you just have to get it between the pitcher and third base, and in reality, the harder the bunt the better.

If walks are good because OBP is good, bunting for a base hit, when you have a very high chance of success, is gotta be good, right? With the added bonus that if you are good enough at it, you might force teams to abandon the shift, or modify it severely, and now you're not hitting into the teeth of a shift.

Now if Adam Dunn comes up with 2 on, 2 out, trailing by 2 or three, I don't want him bunting for a hit. Most other times, it seems like LH hitters should do it more often.

#26 KOHG

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 08:43 PM

With no third baseman, it makes sense to me to drop a hard bunt down the third base line quite often. You don't have to bunt it well, you just have to get it between the pitcher and third base, and in reality, the harder the bunt the better.

If walks are good because OBP is good, bunting for a base hit, when you have a very high chance of success, is gotta be good, right? With the added bonus that if you are good enough at it, you might force teams to abandon the shift, or modify it severely, and now you're not hitting into the teeth of a shift.

Now if Adam Dunn comes up with 2 on, 2 out, trailing by 2 or three, I don't want him bunting for a hit. Most other times, it seems like LH hitters should do it more often.



The thing is all these hitters would have to do is not even bunt, but adjust the back foot that would change the angle. Just an inch either way. Do that and you can't help but hit the ball where they are not. I used to get shifted on in Babe Ruth and in highschool ball which is 100% comparably with MLB :) and that's what I did. You cant swing across you body is forces you to hit the ball where you plant... If Joe wanted to pull the ball to beat the shift he would need to go with a more wide open stance. However its very difficult for players who have done something for along time and had success to change. Just like anything else, but success can lead to complacency. Hell you wouldn't even need to change you feet, but cut down your swing. Eventually, team will have to play you honest. I always though shifting was kind of cowardly...Smart but cowardly.

#27 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:01 PM

With no third baseman, it makes sense to me to drop a hard bunt down the third base line quite often. You don't have to bunt it well, you just have to get it between the pitcher and third base, and in reality, the harder the bunt the better.

If walks are good because OBP is good, bunting for a base hit, when you have a very high chance of success, is gotta be good, right? With the added bonus that if you are good enough at it, you might force teams to abandon the shift, or modify it severely, and now you're not hitting into the teeth of a shift.

Now if Adam Dunn comes up with 2 on, 2 out, trailing by 2 or three, I don't want him bunting for a hit. Most other times, it seems like LH hitters should do it more often.


Everything you just said is exactly correct.

#28 kydoty

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:34 PM

And of course, on the day I happen to post this, Adam Dunn tries to bunt his way on.

"Mediocre breaking balls are a gift from God." - Kirby Puckett


#29 kydoty

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:39 PM

@nickcafardo 14m
David Ortiz has been practicing going the other way the last two days in BP. He did it successfully in the fifth, breaking the shift.

Progress!!!

"Mediocre breaking balls are a gift from God." - Kirby Puckett


#30 brendanlake31

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:40 PM

Robinson Cano is my favorite baseball player of the day.

http://www.sbnation....d-shifts-future

If I played in the mlb I would enjoy free hits.