With MLB’s elimination of the shift, how the Giants will adapt at second base

San Francisco Giants
could have afforded to keep Tommy La Stella on their payroll. At the same time, they could not have afforded to keep him on their roster.

Money wasn’t the problem. The Giants are loaded. Even after eating La Stella’s contract, they won’t come close to the luxury tax threshold. It was a bad contract, and the Giants moved on.

The problem was that La Stella wouldn’t have been a fit because the Giants no longer would have been able to hide him on the roster or on the field.

Training camps open next month — the Oakland Athletics’ first workout with pitchers and catchers is Feb. 15, the Giants’ is Feb. 16 — and teams must adjust to a series of new rules, including the elimination of the defensive shift.

No longer can teams stack all their infielders on the right side of the diamond against left-handed batters. Going forward, two infielders must be on the left side of second base and two on the right, all within the outer boundary of the infield when the pitch is thrown.

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