Boston Red Sox

The new MLB pitch clock has been the highlight of the league’s new rule changes so far this spring, but it’s far from the only one. Another notable change is a rule that requires teams to have two infielders on each side of second base with their feet on the infield dirt. The purpose of that rule is to limit extreme shifts and increase offense.

Unlike the pitch clock, this rule leaves some room for interpretation. One of the first teams to find a workaround? The Boston Red Sox.

Facing the Twins in a spring training game over the weekend the Red Sox had a new look in store for Joey Gallo, a lefty and one of the most extreme pull-hitters in the league. As seen below, instead of moving an infielder over the Red Sox took their left fielder and put him where the third baseman usually would be in the over-shift.

  • Now, this isn’t a totally fool-proof plan. If Gallo or another player in this situation manages to punch the ball down the line (the third-baseman is playing almost at shortstop, with the shortstop nearly behind the second base bag), it’s going to roll for a long time.

    We’ll see how teams adjust to this new version of the over-shift. In the past, teams would move their third baseman over leaving the line totally exposed, and very few players would take advantage. With the new shift, players would at least need to hit the ball hard and/or in the air to take advantage.

    Even if hitters do take advantage, the Red Sox may still be able to pull this off – at least at home. Former Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks pointed out on Twitter that the shallow left field wall at Fenway Park limits the ground that needs to be covered on that half of the outfield.

    It will be interesting to see how this shift plays out long-term. If it holds up though, that means one of the league’s new rules was cracked in about two weeks.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at