MLB is banning the shift in 2023. Players have discussed the topic and offered different opinions. Some players are destined to benefit more than others from the change. Cleveland Guardians' starting pitcher Triston McKenzie recently addressed MLB's decisions to ban the shift and expressed his excitement for teammate Jose Ramirez as a result of the new rule, per Bally Sports Cleveland.
“I think it's going to change how we play the game currently, but I think it's still going to be baseball,” McKenzie said. “I think the game is going to have to be a little more athletic in certain aspects, but I don't think it's going to change the game to a degree that everybody thinks it's going to change it to. I think there's going to be numbers that are going to change, but the game is going to stay the same.”
Guardians' reporter Andre Knott then mentioned that some of Triston McKenzie's teammates may put up big numbers stemming from the MLB shift ban.
“And I'm excited for it (Jose Ramirez)! Yes!” McKenzie responded.
Jose Ramirez cut down on his pull-percentage in 2022 and began hitting the baseball up the middle on a more consistent basis, per Baseball Reference. But the shift allowed infielders to stand directly behind second base. If Ramirez, who hit the ball up the middle at a 50 percent clip in 2022, continues to implement a similar approach he could be in line for a massive performance in 2023. And Triston McKenzie is certainly “excited for it.”
McKenzie and Ramirez are looking to lead the Guardians back to the postseason following the team's impressive 2023 effort.