The Chicago White Sox could have an advantage on defense for the new extra innings rule.
The Chicago White Sox have a lot of great players. They have a strong starting lineup and some good pitching. This could be a big year for them, despite it being a short season. It is only 60 games because of what COVID-19 did to the rest of the season and that has caused the league to make some adjustments. The White Sox may be able to make one little change that can give them an advantage for one of these new rules.
There is going to be a runner on second base with no outs to start every extra-innings game. It sounds cheesy but the league doesn’t want any 18 inning games during a global pandemic. They want to get this season started and completed as quickly as possible. The White Sox can do something defensively there that can help themselves resist that rule’s help for the offensive team.
Jason Benetti and Chuck Garfien made this point during their Thursday night inter-squad broadcast so they get all the credit but having five infielders for extra innings might be wise. They would be able to cover more ground on the infield so that runner on second would have a much tougher time advancing.
The reason the White Sox have a distinct advantage for this strategy is their personnel. Adam Engel has proven that he is an incredible defensive outfielder and Luis Robert might be the most athletic player this team has had in the outfield in multiple decades. If each of them, who can cover more ground than most outfielders, is in left and right-center, then the White Sox are in a good spot. They would be able to make plays that can keep the runners stranded because they would have those two studs in the outfield and five infielders.
If one was hit deep and nobody was able to track it down, the runner that started on second would score anyway. It is worth the risk of having your two best outfielders who can cover a lot of ground out there so there can be five guys on the infield. This might be something they consider or it could be something they laugh at. It is a weird season so you never know what they try.