The White Sox and a shift for Pujols


The White Sox and a shift for Pujols

Generally, when teams shift their infield for a pull hitter, they do it for a lefty. David Ortiz, Jim Thome, and Adam Dunn have grounded out plenty of times to short right field.

It's much more rare to see a team shift against a right-handed hitter, though. But that's what the White Sox did Tuesday when Albert Pujols came to the plate.

The Sox aren't the first team to shift for Pujols -- Milwaukee did that last year. Dusty Baker's also employed it for a few years now. But what's interesting is how far Adam Dunn played off the first base bag -- that looks like about a 30, maybe 40-foot sprint he'd have to make to get to first, not leaving him with a ton of time to find the bag, even with Pujols' footspeed. But moving Dunn any closer to first base would've opened up a massive hole through which Pujols could poke a single.

Danks ended up walking Pujols in the sequence, although he did try to work inside with his cutterfastball and outside with his changeup. Unfortunately, neither pitch was really there for Danks on his first start of the spring.

But this shift does show the Sox are going to be a team that takes a good look at spray charts (Pujols' chart from 2011 can be found here). Not to say the previous regime didn't, but it would've been somewhat surprising to see Ozzie Guillen, Joey Cora & Co. implement this shift.

Either way, it's nice to see the on-field management be forward-thinking.

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