By now it is no secret that the Rays use the defensive shift a lot. As a result, players are often moving to a new position in between pitches. But occasionally, those players are waiting to move until the pitcher starts his windup. And sometimes, there is the potential for that movement to be a distraction to hitters.
Are the defenders just trying to disguise their position to keep the hitters guessing? Catchers have been doing this forever, waiting until the pitch comes before setting up to keep the other team from knowing pitch location. Or are the defenders intentionally trying to distract the hitter?
This very topic was brought up last night by the Yankees announcers. Here’s a snippet of that conversation along with an example of the movement…
Whatever the answer, the opposition may have a complaint, but the move is not illegal, and we’re not sure Major League Baseball can do anything to stop it.
Just one more way in which the Rays may have found just the tiniest little edge. And those edges add up.