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View Full Version : Run Willy. Run.



Cant Touch This
05-05-2009, 12:43 AM
Top of the 8th, one out, tie game. Taveras singles and now represents the go-ahead run at first base.

Think about why he was acquired and paid millions of dollars to become the Reds leadoff hitter. Is there any particular facet of the game where he stands out among others? With the offense in such pitfalls right now, I cannot understand why he remained glued to first base. Dickerson saw at least three pitches before he lined that 2-strike fastball into left field. Willy should have been on second base before Dickerson's single, and even if he would have been stopped at third base, he would have scored on Votto's flyout in the next at bat.

Why pay for this guy if you're not going to run him there?

Even after Dickerson singled Taveras to second, there was still just one out. I know Votto is on fire and you don't want to take a runner out of scoring position, but I still think with his speed (and this, again, is the reason he was acquired) he should have tried to steal third. Votto's chances of driving him in from third base with one out are excellent, and while it's easy for me to say it now because of the flyout - I don't think that result would have been too difficult to predict.

But Willy stayed put at second base, too, and was left stranded.

I just want to know why. Why go out and add a speedster to the top of the order if you're not going to run him into scoring position.

To me, THAT is the series of plays that lost the game for the Reds. Not the error on the last play of the game.

Ghosts of 1990
05-05-2009, 12:48 AM
Not being nearly aggressive enough. You're right.

Zimmers
05-05-2009, 01:19 AM
Willy reminds me of Neon deon sanders in a lot of ways. Has no power but awesome speed. The difference being deon ran when he had the chanbf the situation didnt matter 4 better or worse but at least he did what he was there 4. I think something is wrong with him?

BIGGIN
05-05-2009, 02:29 AM
Willy should for sure be running more, I really don't understand it. I would think he has the green light when he gets on, or is Dusty just not letting him run. I would love to know the answer to that question.

SLAPJAW
05-05-2009, 04:57 AM
It certainly gives the opposing pitcher fits when he knows the baserunner is going to be aggressive.

reds1869
05-05-2009, 06:09 AM
Willy should for sure be running more, I really don't understand it. I would think he has the green light when he gets on, or is Dusty just not letting him run. I would love to know the answer to that question.

I suspect he is just taking orders from the dugout. I believe Willy will run any time he is given the green light.

WillyT
05-05-2009, 06:41 AM
From a Fay article on April 23rd:

Taveras has only stolen three bases. He’s been successful in all three attempts. But he led the National League with 68 steals last year. He’s not running anywhere near that often.

“I have the green light so I pick my spots,” Taveras said. “I’m not going to rush it. If I see a guy who is too quick to the plate or a lefty I like to see their move. There’s still a lot of games.”


I'm all for picking spots and not running into outs especially when Votto is at the plate but the lack of a running game is beginning to concern me as well. I know at one point in early April last year Clint Hurdle talked to Taveras about the need to be more aggressive on the bases and he responded all year. I really think Dusty needs to communicate this same thing to Willy. I'm not sure if he's trying to pick the perfect spot but I'd rather see him get thrown out a few times if he's being more aggressive as long as he's running in the right spots. The 8th inning last night was just that kind of spot.

texasdave
05-05-2009, 10:12 AM
The passage of time tends to magnify exploits from the past. It also tends to make memories a little fuzzier. But I swear if that were Barry Larkin or Joe Morgan on first with one out in the eight inning of a tie ballgame, they would have run. And run successfully.

PhillipsHead
05-05-2009, 10:29 AM
Have any of you been watching or listening to games? The answer is obvious. HE IS NOT A PURE BASE-STEALER. That has become apparent to me when I notice he is taking short leads, and half the time, I hear he is leaning back to first when the ball is delivered because he can't figure out the pitcher's move. If that's the case, then it means that he's been getting away with steals for years because of pure speed. It takes a degree of good base-stealing to get good jumps thanks to reading the pitcher. Either Willy is off to a slow start in that regard, or he has shown that he is a terrible pure base-stealer this season.

CySeymour
05-05-2009, 10:53 AM
It didn't appear anyone was getting a good leadoff last night. There was at least one spot when I thought Phillips would/should run as well. It just seemed like they were afraid to run.

xavr1
05-05-2009, 11:09 AM
He looked timid with his leadoffs last night.

BigJohn
05-05-2009, 11:31 AM
Then the people who found and signed him should be fired! He was given big money based on his supposed ability to get on and steal, if he is not able to do that, why pay him?

HUHUH
05-05-2009, 12:38 PM
Hey Cant Touch This.

You are so RIGHT ON about this. I posted about the same thing a few weeks ago. It is a recurring pattern that is driving me mad. When WT failed to try to steal second last night, then stood glued to second base, I just about exploded. WHY, WHY, WHY? If he steals either time he scores and the Reds win. This so-called "running game" of the Reds is a fiasco.

Other than that, I'm up on this team.

Bumstead
05-05-2009, 01:18 PM
Yeah, I agree. I have been confused for 25 games as to why Willy isn't running. Why else would we have signed him?

Handofdeath
05-05-2009, 01:57 PM
Then the people who found and signed him should be fired! He was given big money based on his supposed ability to get on and steal, if he is not able to do that, why pay him?

Chill. The Reds are over .500 and 1 game back for the Wild Card even with an anemic offense. Isn't winning games the whole point ugly or not?

GIDP
05-05-2009, 02:00 PM
The reds are like 3rd to last in steals haha. Speed and defense!

REDblooded
05-05-2009, 02:36 PM
Yeah, I agree. I have been confused for 25 games as to why Willy isn't running. Why else would we have signed him?

obp?

Bumstead
05-05-2009, 02:55 PM
^^ Good Point!!! ;)

GOYA
05-05-2009, 04:04 PM
Are we going to start ragging on Votto next? WillieT leads the team in runs scored. He is second on the team in BA amongst the regulars. If you want to call somebody out, there are a lot better choices than Taveras. At his current rate, he'll steal around 35 bases and yes, that's not 100 but no, it's not shabby.

Cant Touch This
05-05-2009, 04:11 PM
I don't think the point is overall number of steals, but more the timing of them. The choice to not attempt to steal in the 8th inning last night with the team's unquestionably best base stealer just baffles me and others. I didn't start this thread to bash WT - I just don't understand the thinking behind that decision. If that wasn't the "right time" to steal, I don't know when is.

Bumstead
05-05-2009, 04:15 PM
I just think he was signed to drive the pitchers nuts when he gets on base. Am I wrong? Seems like there have been situations where he hasn't done that where he might have been able to help the Reds "steal" a couple of wins. He's hitting .261, so regardless what the rest of team is doing his average is not particularly impressive, especially given the fact that he has absolutely no power. Are we supposed to settle for mediocrity just because the rest of the team is slumping offensively?

Bum

HUHUH
05-05-2009, 10:20 PM
Chill. The Reds are over .500 and 1 game back for the Wild Card even with an anemic offense. Isn't winning games the whole point ugly or not?

Winning is the point, and if WT would have run, we would have won. End of story.

Eric_the_Red
05-06-2009, 08:21 AM
Winning is the point, and if WT would have run, we would have won. End of story.

Unless he was thrown out.

BigJohn
05-06-2009, 08:52 AM
ifs and buts!

He should have run!

GIDP
05-06-2009, 11:13 AM
Unless he was thrown out.

if he ran any of the times he was on odds are he makes it 80% of the time. Id take my 20% chance every time.

Eric_the_Red
05-06-2009, 12:14 PM
if he ran any of the times he was on odds are he makes it 80% of the time. Id take my 20% chance every time.


But perhaps his 80% success rqate is due to him picking his time to steal, getting good leads off of pitchers that he can "read". If he was told to steal each time, that 80% mark would almost certainly drop.

GIDP
05-06-2009, 12:17 PM
But perhaps his 80% success rqate is due to him picking his time to steal, getting good leads off of pitchers that he can "read". If he was told to steal each time, that 80% mark would almost certainly drop.

I'm sure it is, but hes either being dominated by pitchers this year or hes just not running. He stole pretty much 50% of the time the 2 previous season when he got on 1st base and no one on in front of him.

If he cant steal then we need need to think about finding another person to play CF and bat lead off.

Eric_the_Red
05-06-2009, 12:24 PM
I'm sure it is, but hes either being dominated by pitchers this year or hes just not running. He stole pretty much 50% of the time the 2 previous season when he got on 1st base and no one on in front of him.

If he cant steal then we need need to think about finding another person to play CF and bat lead off.


The season is a month old. I don't think WT "can't steal" or won't steal more bases.

Besides, with the difficulty the team has had getting baserunners, do we really want to encourage running into outs? I can see it now...WT tries to steal, get thrown out, and then Votto doubles, so fans complain about the attempt with the team's best hitter coming up.

The risk/reward of a steal attempt is fascinating to me, although I'll leave it to someone much smarter than I to figure out when steal attempts make sense, statistically speaking.

Bumstead
05-06-2009, 12:29 PM
His speed is what makes his low OBP somewhat tolerable. If he's not going to use it, what was the point in signing him in the first place? As bad as Dickerson has been he has a OBP of .324 and a OPS of .641 vs Taveras' OBP of .330 and OPS of .660. We might as well have just let Dickerson play CF and used Taveras' $$ to sign a SS or LF...he's worthless if he doesn't run a lot; by a lot I mean 50+ steals minimum. And, if he has the green light (like he said he has), what is holding him back this year that didn't hold him back in the past?

Bum

GIDP
05-06-2009, 12:45 PM
The season is a month old. I don't think WT "can't steal" or won't steal more bases.

Besides, with the difficulty the team has had getting baserunners, do we really want to encourage running into outs? I can see it now...WT tries to steal, get thrown out, and then Votto doubles, so fans complain about the attempt with the team's best hitter coming up.

The risk/reward of a steal attempt is fascinating to me, although I'll leave it to someone much smarter than I to figure out when steal attempts make sense, statistically speaking.

So we sign a guy to steal bags, and has been very succesful at it though his career but now since we have trouble getting guys on base he shouldnt run. How about this we find someone else who can hit a double then.

Bumstead
05-06-2009, 12:54 PM
or find somebody that actually gets on base...crazy I know...

xavr1
05-06-2009, 01:00 PM
I just read this on Lance's blog. Someone emailed it to him:

"Taveras has reached based 34 times this season. Of those 34 times on base, only 7 times was there a runner immediately in front of him (second if he was on first, third if he was on second). So he has been on base 27 times with no one in front of him....and attempted to steal just six times."

Lance: So he is attempting a steal every 4.5 times on base with nobody in front of him.
I'd love to see the % of times Taveras attempted a steal, with nobody on base in front of him prior to this season.

texasdave
05-06-2009, 02:30 PM
But perhaps his 80% success rqate is due to him picking his time to steal, getting good leads off of pitchers that he can "read". If he was told to steal each time, that 80% mark would almost certainly drop.

I do not believe it comes to the other team that Willy Taveras is going to attempt to steal when he reaches base. If the base ahead of Taveras is open and it is not a blowout situation, the other team probably assumes he is going to go. But let's assume you are right and that in a late tie-game situation the other team tries extra hard to keep Willy from stealing and his percentage does go down in that situation. How far can his success rate drop before it is no longer worth the risk of Taveras attempting to steal?

Thanks to this chart by TigerTango we can reach a reasonable conclusion?
http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902score.html

Three assumptions:
1) One run in that situation will have won the game for the Reds.
2) There are no errors involved in the steal situation. Either WT is standing on second with one out or he is back in the dugout with two down.
3) The rest of the Reds' inning plays out the same, meaning they were either going to score no runs or one run depending on the outcome of the steal attempt.

Now all we have to do is glean three pieces of information the chart:
1) the percentage of scoring one run with one out and a man on first,
2) the percentage of scoring one run with one out and a man on second, and
3) the percentage of scoring one run with nobody on and two outs.

These percentages are:
1) .123
2) .230
3) .051

Let's assume this situation happens 100 times (to make the numbers a little easier to digest).


Then we simply have to figure out how many runs would score on the average if Willy stays at first. How many runs would score on the
average if he steals successfully or unsuccessfully.

Here are those numbers:


% SC SB % 100 RS/100
0.123 XXX 100 12.3

0.230 0.80 100 18.4
0.051 0.20 100 1.0

0.230 0.75 100 17.3
0.051 0.25 100 1.3

0.230 0.70 100 16.1
0.051 0.30 100 1.5

0.230 0.67 100 15.4
0.051 0.33 100 1.7

0.230 0.60 100 13.8
0.051 0.40 100 2.0



0.230 0.50 100 11.5
0.051 0.50 100 2.6

0.230 0.40 100 9.2
0.051 0.60 100 3.1

Putting that in an easier to read format gives us this:


SIT. RS
STAY 12.3

80% 19.4
75% 18.6
70% 17.6
67% 17.1
60% 15.8
50% 14.1
40% 12.3
This is a rough estimate, but Willy Taveras would have to steal at less than a 40% success rate to make this a bad move for the Reds. 40% is the break even point. And anything higher than 40% increases the Reds' chance of scoring that one run which we have assumed will win the game.