A's Manager Bob Melvin, GM David Forst Speak Out Against MLB Shift Ban

LAS VEGAS - A's manager Bob Melvin has a simple answer for those who don't like the shift.

"Just hit the ball the other way. If you start hitting the ball the other way, getting hits that way, it will shift back around," he said Tuesday at the 2018 MLB Winter Meetings. "Baseball is a game of adjustment. I'm not for [banning the shift]. We'll see where it goes."

The Athletic's Jayson Stark recently reported that baseball's competition committee had given commissioner Rob Manfred "strong backing" to limit defensive shifts. As Stark notes, any rule change would have to be approved by the players' union.

"I'm not in favor of legislating defense," said A's general manager David Forst. "I think if hitters adjust, we'll adjust. ... We're trying to get outs. If Major League Baseball steps in, they do, but I wouldn't be in favor of it."

From an A's perspective, only Matt Olson and Matt Joyce faced the shift on a regular basis last season. Olson ranked fifth in MLB with 350 at-bats against a shift according to FanGraphs, equalling 60.5 percent of his total at-bats. Joyce was shifted 73 percent of the time for a total of 130 at-bats.

If baseball were to take steps to limit shifts, it's still unclear how exactly they would go about it.

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