Playing Out Of Position And Position Changes

What happens when a player plays out of his "natural" position?
If you are looking for position changes in the Low Minors, please check out Low Minors Position Changes.

What are the effects of a player playing out of his "natural" position?

There is a formula that will explain exactly how this effect is calculated. This was developed thanks to some insightful input from none other than "Knuckleball Lover", a CSFBL beta tester! (Who knows if he remembers?)

Positions are ranked in order of difficulty:

SS - 2B - CF - 3B - LF/RF - 1B

When a player plays out of his natural position, his Range (RN) and Glove (GL) ratings are adjusted depending on how many steps the player moves to the right or left. His Arm (AR) rating remains constant, (unless you are using a player as a catcher). See below, "What about catchers?".

1 step left: -10%
2 steps left: -19%
3 steps left: -27%
4 steps left: -34%
5 steps left: -40% (maximum)

A 1B playing SS (a move of five steps left) would lose 40% of his Range (RN) and Glove (GL) ratings. A LF playing CF would lose 19% (a move of two steps).

Moving to the right is a little different.

1 step right: -8%
2 steps right: -6%
3 steps right: -4%
4 steps right: -2%
5 steps right: 0% (maximum)

A SS playing 1B would see no drop in skill (5 steps to the right). A 2B playing LF would have a 4% drop in skill (3 steps to the right).

What about catchers?

Any player moving to catcher loses 34% of his Range (RN) and Glove (GL). Catchers moving to other positions are considered one step to the right of 1B. So, a C moving to 3B (three steps left) would lose 27% of his defensive skills.

A player trying to become a catcher requires more than 80 games in one season at catcher + 400 total games at catcher over their career to permanently change. Also, while playing out of position as a catcher, there is a 75% penalty to the AR rating until the player converts.

The changes are applied to a player's Actual ratings after fatigue is factored in.

Permanently changing positions

A player's natural position will change if he plays more than 80 games at a position that is not his natural position. The actual position change will occur during the next season rollover.

At this point, a player's Actual ratings will permanently change to the position to which he has now converted. A player's potential ratings will also change - if moving to a harder position, they change by the same percentage. If moving to an easier position, they will increase depending on how much easier the new position is. As a result, a player moving to an easier position has the possibility of becoming a better player at that position over time.

The effect of multiple permanent position changes over the course of a career can hurt a player's overall fielding skill. Players do better when they get to specialize. The extent of the ratings change is based on the extent of the position change. A shortstop (SS) who flip-flops with second base (2B) will have a negligible drop. A first baseman (1B) who flip-flops with shortstop (SS) will see a significant drop.

Lefties playing 2B, SS, 3B, and C

In professional baseball, it is rare to see a player who throws left-handed playing 2B, 3B, SS, or C. As a result, CSFBL does not create left-handed players at these positions. This does not preclude you from putting a player who throws left-handed at one of these positions. The manager will avoid using players who throw left-handed at these positions at all costs. It is still possible, but a player who throws left-handed will only be used if there are no eligible players on the bench who throw right-handed.

Defensive penalties will be applied to all players who throw left-handed at 2B, 3B, and SS. The penalties are as follows:

  • RANGE -20%
  • GLOVE -10%
  • ARM -40%

A penalty will be applied to a catcher's arm rating with respect to base-stealing, based on the throwing arm of the catcher and the batting hand of the hitter at the plate. The penalties are as follows:

  • RTC = Right-handed throwing catcher
  • LTC = Left-handed throwing catcher
  • RHB = Right-handed batter
  • LHB = Left-handed batter
  • TO2 = Runner trying to steal second base
  • TO3 = Runner trying to steal third base

Stealing Second Base:
RTC + RHB + TO2: No penalty
RTC + LHB + TO2: -10%
LTC + RHB + TO2: -15%
LTC + LHB + TO2: -5%

Stealing Third Base:
RTC + RHB + TO3: -5%
RTC + LHB + TO3: No penalty
LTC + RHB + TO3: -40%
LTC + LHB + TO3: -40%