Thursday, March 17, 2016

Brian McCann and Going Against the Shift

The shift is here to stay in Major League Baseball. Too many teams have found out how effective it is and the league is not going to ban it, how could they anyway? Some hitters have adopted this and started to try and beat the shift while others have simply seen their batting averages dip 60-70 points in lieu of extra power. The latter is referring to the Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira but the former may finally be referring to the Yankees catcher Brian McCann.

At times we raged at the fact that Teixeira absolutely refused to beat the shift and would rather hit for doubles and home runs instead (Too Many Damn Home Runs!) while McCann at least tried to beat the shift. If was visible in some at bats for McCann and he even attempted a bunt or two in order to beat the shift but he never truly looked comfortable doing it. Now I haven’t seen much spring training baseball this season as most of the games are played while I am at work but I have noticed a trend thus far with McCann, he’s trying to beat the shift again.

It seems like every at bat I’ve seen either live or via Sportscenter, MLB Network etc. has showcased McCann trying to go the other way. The power will be there for McCann when he needs it and he’s no longer trying to knock it over the short porch for the Yankees, it looks like he is making a legitimate choice to go the other way and turn what used to be a ground out into a single or a double. Even Chad Jennings of LoHud has mentioned it on Twitter as McCann went the other way in a Grapefruit League game not once but twice for singles so it’s not just me pulling something out of thin air.

If McCann can go the other way and not only have his 25 home runs and 90+ RBI power but if he can add even a .265 average to go with it we may be talking MVP considerations for the Yankees catcher. He won’t win the award with those stats but the Yankees could potentially win a whole lot more games as they get away from too many damn home runs and get back to seeing the ball, and hitting the ball… the other way.

Hit it where they ain’t McCann!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)