One of the new components of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the 2022-26 period is that MLB will have a 45-day window to implement rule changes, as opposed to a year.
That means they can execute changes from season to season, and they will do just that in 2023.
Next season, MLB will have enlarged bases, a pitch clock and a shift ban.
Per Bleacher Report, “if these rules come to the major league level in 2023, teams will no longer be able to stack either side of the infield with three defenders or play more than three men in the outfield.”
The league feels the shift is detrimental to the game, so it will not be allowed from 2023 on.
For 2022, though, it can still be used, and it looks like the New York Yankees are experimenting with it during spring training play.
“#Yankees trying out a four-man outfield vs. Detroit’s Robbie Grossman. Gleyber Torres is playing right field,” MLB.com beat writer covering the Yankees Bryan Hoch tweeted on Monday.
#Yankees trying out a four-man outfield vs. Detroit’s Robbie Grossman. Gleyber Torres is playing right field.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 28, 2022
2022 Will Be The Last Year MLB Teams Will Be Able To Shift
Shifting means equipping the defense for the most likely outcome, and in this case, the Yankees felt the need to implement it on a fly-ball hitter to decrease the odds of a hit.
Contrary to popular belief, the shift is not exclusive to the infield: the outfield can be involved, too, as it happened in this case.
Torres, the Yankees’ second baseman, just went deeper to cover right field while the rest of the outfield slid over to their right to accommodate the temporary new fielder.
The 2022 season will be the last one in which the Yankees, or any other team, will be able to implement such a defensive arrangement.