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Dodgers: The One Rule Change Cody Bellinger Wants to See With the Defensive Shift

Cody would like to see this one minor rule tweak on the defensive shift.



Major League Baseball will test out banning the shift at the minor league level in 2021. While it’s certainly been a divisive topic among Dodgers fans, it might also be one among players. 

On one side, you have batters who are doing everything they can to reach base. The Dodgers certainly have a few guys that get burned by the shift almost on a daily basis. But you also have the defensive side of things, and pitchers more often than not benefit greatly.

You could argue that no other team in baseball shifts better than the Dodgers. Despite that, Cody Bellinger does have one change he would like to see implemented. The All-Star outfielder thinks that infielders should have to stay…well, in the infield. 

And another one for me personally, I don’t think you need to ban the shift, but I think infielders need to stay on the dirt. I don’t think the shortstop should be in right field taking our hits away.

Bellinger is one of the guys on the Dodgers offense that would probably benefit greatly from a ban on the shift. He went to the opposite field on just 20 percent of batted balls during the 2020 season. In 2019 during his MVP campaign, he went oppo on close to 23 percent of balls in play. 

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But more often than not, Bellinger finds that guy hanging out in right field to throw him out at first base. That’s the sort of shift that the Dodgers use to get a lot of left-handed hitters that they face. So while it might benefit him, it’s probably in the best interest of the team to hope Bellinger’s wish doesn’t come true. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Bunt the ball toward 1st base and they’ll ease the shift on you. It may take a few of your at-bats to make it a point to the defense. Put the home-run swing on pause and make them think.

  2. Bunt the ball toward3rd base and they’ll ease the shift on you. It may take a few of your at-bats to make it a point to the defense. Put the home-run swing on pause and make them think.

  3. Baffling why more players (and batting coaches, player-development programs) do not work much, much more on opposite-field batting to beat shifts? Do they shift as much in the minors enabling batters to develop shift-beating oppo-hit skills before reaching the majors?

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