Many fans and players believed that ‘the shift' would no longer be seen in MLB games, but teams have experimented with a new shift in Spring Training, involving the left fielder moving over to where the shifted infielder usually would be. New Minnesota Twins outfielder Joey Gallo is not phased by the experimentation.
“I'm definitely not tormented by the shift,” Joey Gallo said, via Jayson Stark of The Athletic. “They've only done it one time, right? It's not like they're running it out there every f***ing time, right? People made a big deal about them doing it. But it was early spring. They're kind of feeling it out. Teams are just kind of feeling out what they're doing, so they're not doing it every at-bat. It's happened once.”
Gallo is referencing an at-bat he had against the Boston Red Sox in a Spring Training game, when they moved their right fielder over to the spot that the second baseman would usually be. (Photo from Dan Hayes of The Athletic)
Joey Gallo still seeing the shift. Red Sox with the two-deep outfield. #MNTwins pic.twitter.com/bOwmeE0wWq
— DanHayesMLB (@DanHayesMLB) March 3, 2023
Gallo is not concerned, considering that he has only faced the new version of the shift one time in Spring Training. He has been one of the most-shifted players in MLB, and is notorious four his approach that results in a low batting average even when things are going well.
It will be interesting to see if teams will try the new-look shift that the Red Sox pulled out in the regular-season.
Gallo has not been a productive player since being traded from the Texas Rangers to the New York Yankees. He struggled mightily with the Yankees in 2022, and was traded to the Dodgers to finish out the season. It did not get much better with the Dodgers either.
The Twins are hoping a change of scenery helps Gallo produce the way he did when he was at his best with the Rangers.