Mentioned this in the recaps, but here’s some video evidence of what Ryan Howard dealt with last night against the Cardinals, shift-wise.
After the game, these were his comments:
“No, I don’t like it at all,” said Howard, who has grown accustomed to seeing four infielders on the right side of the infield when he steps to the plate. “That’s four hits. I mean, again, it’s nothing that I’m doing wrong, I’m hitting the ball hard. It’s just right at guys playing shifts. So, all you can do is continue to swing.”
He’s allowed to be frustrated. But it does strike me that if you’re that dependent on grounders through the infield you had better either (a) be fast; or (b) not be considered a middle-of-the-order threat. The shift doesn’t, after all, take away doubles and dingers.