The Boston Red Sox are keeping up with the times.
There’s been an emphasis placed on defensive analytics in recent years, with several clubs across Major League Baseball constantly shifting their alignments based on an abundance of information. The Red Sox, fully aware of this new normal, thus are taking steps to ensure they’ll remain ahead of the curve.
In a simple yet genius move, Red Sox infielders have been wearing note cards under their hats during spring training, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford, who detailed Boston’s new defensive strategy in a piece published Sunday. The cards contain information about where to shift during certain situations — taking into account the pitcher, the hitter, the number of outs, the count, etc. — and can be used as an easy reference for the players without causing too much confusion.
“It’s a new era for baseball. There are so many things that are new,” Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez told Bradford. “So much technology. So we have to make adjustments in dealing with it. I think it will make baseball better, but for us it’s sometimes uncomfortable. It’s a lot of information.”
As Bradford explained, it’s almost like the infielders choreographed their work during a recent Grapefruit League game against the Minnesota Twins, performing a routine in which they took off their hats, referred to the cue cards, replaced their hats and shifted accordingly.
The spring test runs haven’t been without hiccups — shortstop Xander Bogaerts dropped his card at one point, according to Bradford — but it’s easy to see the potential benefits of the technique, which theoretically should ensure players are in the right place at the right time more often this season than in years past.
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