The Red Sox figured out a loophole in MLB's new shift rules


Along with the pitch clock, the banning of the shift will be a significant change for Major League Baseball in 2023. But during Friday's spring training game against the Minnesota Twins, the Boston Red Sox may have found a way around the new rule.

The shift ban specifically applies to the infield as two infielders must be on either side of second base and have both of their feet on the dirt when the pitch is released. Since it doesn't apply to outfielders, the Red Sox employed a loophole when pull hitter Joey Gallo stepped to the plate.

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The Red Sox moved center fielder Adam Duvall into shallow right field behind second baseman Enmanuel Valdez. Left fielder Raimel Tapia moved to center and right fielder Alex Verdugo stayed in his normal position.

Gallo drew a walk, so the shift didn't end up playing a factor. Still, it's a preview of a loophole MLB teams could employ throughout the 2023 season.

It's also worth noting this loophole could give the Red Sox a distinct advantage going forward. As former Red Sox infielder Will Middlebrooks points out, the Green Monster in left field at Fenway Park will allow them to use their outfield shift against pull-happy left-handed hitters. It's a risky move, but one that could pay off more often than not.

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