Yankees no longer shifting behind Hiroki Kuroda

Gardner working to correct messy mechanics, cut down on strikeouts
Game 35: Sabathia's Return

I did not notice this during Tuesday’s game, but, according to Danny Knobler, the Yankees have stopped shifting their infielders behind Hiroki Kuroda. He simply isn’t comfortable with it. The Rays don’t shift behind David Price for the same reason. Knobler says New York’s other pitchers will groan whenever a base hit goes through the vacated hole created by the shift, but that’s normal. It’s human nature.

The Yankees went into Friday’s game with a .310 BABIP as a team, higher than the .298 AL average. That’s not really surprising, the defense has been a mess, particularly on the infield and in right field. They’re even botching plays on balls they get to. Kuroda has a .311 BABIP, so there’s no difference between how many balls are being converted to outs behind him compared to the rest of the staff. We don’t know how long they haven’t been shifting behind him though. It sounds like they were doing it earlier in the season and recently stopped. Either way, the pitcher has to be comfortable. That’s the most important thing.

Gardner working to correct messy mechanics, cut down on strikeouts
Game 35: Sabathia's Return
  • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

    saw that in the article other day.
    Will be interesting to see how/if the hitters can adjust to it. with the shift on you are often taking away the extra base hits, because the guys are just punching it to the other side. Even if it’s slightly higher babip, it’s fine as long as no one is on base. Brob has been fine with the glove, but Jeter has been a mess, so it makes a good case for shifting with rhb, trying to limit the balls that Jeter is actually responsible for.

  • ken

    Beltran in RF was the biggest waste of money. He looks like he is playing in slow motion.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I had the best chicken parm sandwich the other day.

    • nsalem

      Beltran was looking very good the first couple of weeks of the season and he his slump started when he got bruised up in his collision with the wall in Tampa Bay. Hopefully he will heal up soon and will return to the norm. Do you honestly think it is intelligent to make declarations the he is a waste of money based on his play of the last 22 days?

      • jjyank

        Male first name only commenter! Don’t you know that they are always right?

    • Mr. Roth

      When I was in highschool I had this awesome polo shirt. Instead of the polo logo, it had a little embroidered picture of James Bond holding a pistol.

      Anyway, I was doing something with my friends one day (that we probably shouldn’t have been doing) and had to jump over a fence. The back of the shirt got stuck on the fence and it ripped.

      I was so pissed. I’ve never seen another shirt like it since.

  • Jeff

    Great, more shift talk for Michael Kay.

  • Jersey Joe

    I hope this is the reason for his dip in performance, but, unfortunately, that is doubtful.

    • Brooklyn Dan

      Did you watch his last start?