Favorable matchups for the week of 4/21 to 4/27:
John Buck KC (.143 CS%, 1/7): 3 games against Cleveland (Grady Sizemore), 3 games against Toronto (Alex Rios, Marco Scuturo)
AJ Pierzynski CHW (.167 CS%, 1/6): 3 games against NYY (Johnny Damon), 3 games against Baltimore (Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones)
Brian McCann ATL (.182 CS%, 2/9): 2 games against Washington (Lastings Milledge, Felipe Lopez), 2 games against Florida (Hanley Ramirez), 3 games against NYM (Jose Reyes, David Wright, Luis Castillo)
Unfavorable matchups for the week of 4/21 to 4/27:
Brian Schneider NYM (.500 CS%, 3/6): 2 games against CHC (Kasake Fukudome, Ryan Theriot, Felix Pie), 2 games against Washington (Lastings Milledge, Felipe Lopez), 3 games against Atlanta (Kelly Johnson)
Gerald Laird TEX (.467 CS%, 7/15): 1 games against Boston (Jacoby Ellsbury, Coco Crisp), 3 games against Detroit (Clete Thomas), 3 games against Minnesota (Carlos Gomez, Delmon Young,)
Ramon Hernandez BAL (.429 CS%, 6/14): 3 games against Seattle (Ichiro Suzuki), 3 games against CHW (Orlando Cabrera)
Should be better base stealers:
One true sign of speed is the amount of triples a player hits. It takes speed to get to three bases on a ball that stays in the park. This week, we are going to take a look at players with a high amount of triples with relatively low stolen base totals. There are two main reasons why this anomaly can occur. A manager may not give the green light very often or the player may have a bad technique when it comes to stealing bases. All the numbers next to each players name are from last season.
Curtis Granderson 23 Triples, 26/27 in SB: Granderson hit an incredible 23 triples in 2007, yet attempted just 27 steals. His home park is known as a very favorable place for triples, yet 13 of his three-baggers came on the road. This guy can flat-out fly. What is even stranger than the 27 attempts is that he was caught just once. Someone with that combination of triples and stolen base success is not almost perfect because he is careful in picking spots. Manager Jim Leyland must be holding him back.
Kelly Johnson 10 triples, 9/14 in SB: In 245 career major league games, Johnson has been caught stealing 7 times in 19 attempts. Not only is he not running often, he is not a good base stealer. His power, 16 home runs and 26 doubles in 2007, from the middle infield spot is what makes him interesting.
Akinori Iwamura 10 triples, 12/20 in SB: There is a good reason why he does not run more often. He is simply not very good at stealing bases. The only possible hope for more steals and better success this year is that in his rookie season last year, he didn’t know the pitchers or catchers that well, although that is a bit of a stretch.
Carlos Guillen: 9 triples 13/21 in SB: Guillen went from being a terrible base stealer, 13 caught steals in 26 attempts from 2000 to 2003, to merely a poor base stealer, 25 caught steals in 74 attempts from 2004 to 2007. Not only is Guillen hitting an age when speed begins to fade, he turns 33 in September, but if Jim Leyland is not going to give Curtis Granderson free reign, he certainly is not going to let Guillen run wild.
Orlando Hudson 9 triples 10/12 in SB: The combination of stolen base success, triples, and attempts suggests that he is being held back. Since nothing has really changed in Arizona, expect the same results. It is worth noting that he really didn’t run that much with Toronto either. Maybe he just underestimates his own speed.
Alfredo Amezaga 9 Triples, 13/20 in SB: The high amount of triples in 2007 is about the only impressive stat on his resume. He doesn’t hit the ball hard, 2 home runs in 400 AB last year, or work counts effectively, 8% BB%. He is fast, but not a particularly good base stealer, 23 caught steals in 63 career attempts.
David DeJesus 9 Triples, 10/14 in SB: From 2003 to 2006, DeJesus was among the worst percentage base stealers in baseball, 19 for 38 (50%). Last year he began to show some improvement, 10 steals in 14 tries. At 27 years of age and with a new manager, he was in a good position to improve on last year’s gains, but a sprained ankle sidelined for two weeks and will most likely impact his running game for at least another month.
Hunter Pence 9 Triples, 11/16 in SB: Pence is off to a slow start this year, 0/2/.170 in 53 AB with 1 steal in 2 attempts, but his skills from last season are impressive, 17/69/.322 in 456 AB. Once he gets on track, he should start running more and should improve as a base stealer.
Marlon Byrd 8 Triples, 5/8 in SB: Despite only going 8 for 14 over the last two seasons, Byrd has actually shown the ability to steals bases in the major leagues, 11 for 12 in 2003 and 5 for 6 in 2005. The biggest issue for Byrd will be playing time. He rode a fortunate .316 BHIP% to a .307 batting average in 414 AB last year and an opportunity for playing time this year. Once that BHIP% regresses to the mean, a below average baseball player, 6.5% BB% and a 79% Ct%, is left.
Mark Teahen: 8 Triples, 13/18 in SB: Teahen is a very good base stealer, 30 steals in 38 attempts during his major league career spanning 397 games. With a new manager, Trey Hillman, who seems to have no problem giving Joey Gathright the green light, 6 steals already in 2008, it would appear that if Teahen was going to develop into a big base stealer, then he would be off an running, but that is not the case, 1 steal attempt in which he was caught.
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