Infielders don’t usually play in the outfield, but Baltimore Orioles infielder Rougned Odor did just that today against the Texas Rangers. Heavy hitter Corey Seager hits the ground ball into the outfield. The smell – with a major shift in the right field – ran to his right, grabbed the ball and threw it just in time for the first out.
“Caught him right from the start, great show!” shouted the Orioles broadcast team.
Seeger’s hits are more of a line pass than a ground ball. It only bounced once, and it would have been a single if it wasn’t for that shift. As the game’s second baseman, Odoi used the shift to explain Seager as a left-handed hitter.
That transition will be banned starting next season, according to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. The new rules will require teams to have only two infielders on either side of second base. Smell actually obeys this rule here. However, without the help of his shortstop second base, Otto wouldn’t have the luxury of playing shallow. It’s a clever use of that shift.
MLB’s Twitter immediately reacted to the drama.
New York Yankees outfielder Joey Gallo expressed his distaste for the shift a few weeks ago. He claimed it made it harder for batsmen to hit the ball.
Derek Jeter is one of the best second basemen of all time, and he’s known for making games like this.
MLB Twitter stunned after Baltimore Orioles second baseman Rug Ned O’Dore impressively grabs Texas Rangers slugger Corey Seager
Considering the shift eliminated so many hits, it wasn’t popular among fans who would rather see offense than defense.
Advanced metrics show that this shift prevents up to 30% of the team’s expected hits.
The crime is expected to increase rapidly once the shift ban takes effect in 2023.
The Baltimore Orioles have held their own in baseball’s toughest division this season. Their record this year is 38-44, which puts them on track to win more games than they did last season.
As of this writing, the Orioles lead the Texas Rangers 2-1 in the fifth inning.