Do the Cardinals have a plan when the defense shifts?

Posted by Scott Wuerz on May 27, 2014 

With the fad of extreme defensive shifts sweeping Major League Baseball, I wonder if the St. Louis Cardinals have a plan for attacking the defense.

Wouldn't it make sense if they're going to such lengths to tailor the defense for the Redbirds to at least have a policy about what to do when a batter strides to the plate to find three infielders on the right side of second base and one on the left?

One more run would have made the difference in the Redbirds' Monday loss to the New York Yankees who used shifts throughout the the game. The Cardinals didn't seem to make any effort to take advantage either when the Yankees shifted or when their third baseman played 15 feet behind the bag with Jhonny Peralta at the plate in consecutive at-bats, one of them with a runner on first.

Do they at least have a sign for "take the free base hit" or "what the heck, try to hit it though the defense?"

There are times when the defense is playing straight that the offense will try to hit the ball to the right side for strategic purposes. So why wouldn't it make sense to try to hit the ball one direction or the other with a shift on?

Maybe they do. I'm not sure. But it seems like one of the reasons the Redbirds have struggled so much to score runs is because they don't have a plan at the plate.

Sometimes it helps to simplify things. Instead of leaving it up to the player to decide in split second if they should bite on a juicy pitch and try to pull it through the shift or if they should settle for a single and take advantage of the hole, give the player orders to execute. At least in certain situations.

It makes sense to me.

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