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bucksfan2
08-26-2009, 10:30 AM
I don't know if I am alone, but I have been disappointed with the Reds running game this season. I thought with a team that lacked pop, the running game would play a larger roll this season. Taveras talked about getting 100 stolen bases this season. But as the season played out, the Reds just don't run that much. I was especially surprised to see Stubbs walk to lead off the game and not attempt to steal a base. It seems that all the talk about a running game in the spring disappeared when the regular season started.

RANDY IN INDY
08-26-2009, 10:53 AM
Taveras has yet to figure out how to steal first. When he does happen to get there, his technique is sorely lacking. Being fast doesn't always equate to being a thief on the basepaths. I don't even think Taveras is a good fit for entering the game late when a team needs a steal ala Charlie Finley and Herb Washington. Really lacking for a guy with his speed. Gotta wonder what parts of his game he works on when he practices. Hits lots of fly balls, can't seem to steal a base, and gets terrible jumps and awful routes on defense. There is my Taveras rant for the day.

Razor Shines
08-26-2009, 10:56 AM
Taveras has yet to figure out how to steal first. When he does happen to get there, his technique is sorely lacking. Being fast doesn't always equate to being a thief on the basepaths. I don't even think Taveras is a good fit for entering the game late when a team needs a steal ala Charlie Finley and Herb Washington. Really lacking for a guy with his speed. Gotta wonder what parts of his game he works on when he practices. Hits lots of fly balls, can't seem to steal a base, and gets terrible jumps and awful routes on defense. There is my Taveras rant for the day.

You make it sound as if he's not very good.

RANDY IN INDY
08-26-2009, 11:00 AM
I just don't understand why guys like Taveras don't hit the ball on the ground and try to use their speed. Every time he hits a ball in the air, it makes me cringe. Maybe he is so bad that working on his game to make his speed more valuable is just not going to help him.

durl
08-26-2009, 11:04 AM
But Dusty seems content to keep speedy guys at the top of the lineup as long as they run fast. He's willing to have fewer men on base just to create an opportunity to steal a base.

At some point, you'd think that a manager would adjust his decisions to fit the capabilities of the team rather than thinking they should fit his mold of what he WANTS to happen.

westofyou
08-26-2009, 11:06 AM
Getting on base is key to stealing, Taveras is pretty deficient at that.

These days slide steps and throw overs have killed the running game, but the real key is getting on base and only a small number have achieved a large amount of steals with a sub standard on base percentage, and those guys tend to make a HUGE amount of outs vs the league... oh joy!!




SEASON
MODERN (1900-)
OBA vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria
PLATE APPEARANCES displayed only--not a sorting criteria
OUTS displayed only--not a sorting criteria

STOLEN BASES YEAR SB OBA PA OUTS
1 Rickey Henderson 1982 130 .070 656 442
2 Lou Brock 1974 118 .033 701 485
3 Vince Coleman 1985 110 -.008 692 500
4 Vince Coleman 1987 109 .024 702 478
5 Rickey Henderson 1983 108 .086 622 395
6 Vince Coleman 1986 107 -.030 670 487
7 Maury Wills 1962 104 .010 759 518
8 Rickey Henderson 1980 100 .089 722 453
9 Ron LeFlore 1980 97 .008 587 413
T10 Ty Cobb 1915 96 .153 700 402
T10 Omar Moreno 1980 96 -.023 745 560
12 Maury Wills 1965 94 .009 710 517
13 Rickey Henderson 1988 93 .069 647 412
14 Tim Raines 1983 90 .061 720 464
15 Clyde Milan 1912 88 .035 674 455
16 Rickey Henderson 1986 87 .029 701 480
T17 Ty Cobb 1911 83 .119 654 354
T17 Willie Wilson 1979 83 .017 640 433
T19 Vince Coleman 1988 81 -.007 679 500
T19 Eddie Collins 1910 81 .065 660 417
T21 Bob Bescher 1911 80 .040 716 444
T21 Rickey Henderson 1985 80 .092 654 398
T23 Willie Wilson 1980 79 .025 745 495
T23 Dave Collins 1980 79 .036 613 416
T25 Tim Raines 1982 78 .024 731 497
T25 Ron LeFlore 1979 78 .020 654 452
T25 Marquis Grissom 1992 78 -.002 707 505
T25 Jose Reyes 2007 78 .012 765 523

flyer85
08-26-2009, 11:10 AM
Unless you are stealing at above a 75% clip the running isn't having a positive impact anyway.

RANDY IN INDY
08-26-2009, 11:46 AM
If you have a couple of guys that can get on and steal a base, the "threat" of the stolen base can sometimes have a very positive effect. It bothers the pitcher, the catcher, the second baseman and the shortstop. When you have a guy like Taveras, who can't get on or is not really even a threat to run when he does get on, (if this year is an indication, and I think it is) the running game is worthless. The Reds have a much better shot of stealing a base when Dickerson is on. I am not really sure why Dusty doesn't seem to like, or have much faith in Dickerson's abilities. I think he can be a solid major league performer.

bucksfan2
08-26-2009, 11:57 AM
If you have a couple of guys that can get on and steal a base, the "threat" of the stolen base can sometimes have a very positive effect. It bothers the pitcher, the catcher, the second baseman and the shortstop. When you have a guy like Taveras, who can't get on or is not really even a threat to run when he does get on, (if this year is an indication, and I think it is) the running game is worthless. The Reds have a much better shot of stealing a base when Dickerson is on. I am not really sure why Dusty doesn't seem to like, or have much faith in Dickerson's abilities. I think he can be a solid major league performer.

I agree with this. But even when Taveras has gotten on base, he hasn't run all that much. I was shocked last night to see Stubbs get on base to start the game off and not attempt to take 2nd. Then when he got to 2nd I thought he would take a chance at 3rd, but it didn't happen. Then a fly ball and double play later the inning is over.

FWIW I think Dickerson at this stage is a poor base stealer. He will get better, but he is pretty unrefined.

TRF
08-26-2009, 11:59 AM
I just don't understand why guys like Taveras don't hit the ball on the ground and try to use their speed. Every time he hits a ball in the air, it makes me cringe. Maybe he is so bad that working on his game to make his speed more valuable is just not going to help him.

funny, everytime i follow a game online I see this happen. Taveras grounds out to pitcher. or SS. or 2B. occasionally to 3B.

He can't even pull the ball down the line. He's an automatic 0-5, 1-4 at best.

And when he gets on, he's timid.

I'm not one that care too much about SB% IF said % has a nice quantity. 28 SB's and 7-10 CS's doesn't do it for me.

55-65 SB's and 15-20 CS's... about the same percentage, but the quantity allows for a rep. that allows for teams to focus on the runner more, and that can be exploited.

westofyou
08-26-2009, 12:04 PM
The effect a runner with speed has when on is a whole other tree of thoughts, it changes everyones approach, the pitchers mechanics, the fielders placement and task list, outfield positioning, the catchers pitch preference, the hitters task list and on and on... it's a big part of what makes this game great.

And that's why station to station ball bores me to tears, but bad base running is even worse for an extended period of time.

RedsManRick
08-26-2009, 12:11 PM
Until and unless we have enough guys on base to begin with, the speed question is functionally irrelevant. Taveras' problem with his low SB have as much, if not more, to do with his inability to find 1B to begin with as it does with what he does or doesn't do once he's there.

bucksfan2
08-26-2009, 12:33 PM
Until and unless we have enough guys on base to begin with, the speed question is functionally irrelevant. Taveras' problem with his low SB have as much, if not more, to do with his inability to find 1B to begin with as it does with what he does or doesn't do once he's there.

Dickerson is a pretty good OBP guy, especially since his poor start. He has a total of 14 SB attempts.

Drew Stubbs in his limited time has yet to attempt to steal.

Last year Taveras attempted to steal 75 times, so far this year he has attempted 31.

During Dusty's tenure, Phillips has become a worse base stealer.

It isn't necessarily the getting on base thing for me. I realize that the Reds have sucked at that this year. Its that when they get on base they aren't putting things in motion. They aren't steeling base, they aren't hitting and running, they aren't making the defense move. They really aren't putting much, if any pressure on the defense by stealing.

nate
08-26-2009, 12:54 PM
Dickerson is a pretty good OBP guy, especially since his poor start. He has a total of 14 SB attempts.

Drew Stubbs in his limited time has yet to attempt to steal.

Last year Taveras attempted to steal 75 times, so far this year he has attempted 31.

During Dusty's tenure, Phillips has become a worse base stealer.

It isn't necessarily the getting on base thing for me. I realize that the Reds have sucked at that this year. Its that when they get on base they aren't putting things in motion. They aren't steeling base, they aren't hitting and running, they aren't making the defense move. They really aren't putting much, if any pressure on the defense by stealing.

I think Stubbs has attempted to steal a couple times but there was a foul and then a walk on the attempt. It might've even been during the same AB.

RANDY IN INDY
08-26-2009, 01:21 PM
If the Reds were smart, they would get a Joe Morgan or an Eric Davis to work with their guys who have some speed and a "chance" to reach base. Dickerson, Stubbs, and their bench guys who might have some speed. Work hard with the minor leaguers coming up. Heck, this might be one of the worst base running franchises in all of baseball. The base-running is worse than pathetic. They need to learn how to get a lead. How to read a pitcher's move. How to get a good secondary lead. Know where the outfielders are playing. Cut the bases without the "Sunday drive" wide turns. Know who has the poor arms that you can take a base on. When you have a franchise that can't go out and sign the stars, you better take a big interest in the minor league system and getting guys to play the game the right way. I know that the "Right Way" label rubs a lot of folks on this board the "Wrong Way," but it is essential for a franchise like the Reds. When you don't always have all the horses, you can't beat yourself as much as they do. The fundamentals are not being taught and stressed nearly enough and they haven't been for a long time. The game is hard enough without playing it stupid.

Highlifeman21
08-26-2009, 01:44 PM
If the Reds were smart, they would get a Joe Morgan or an Eric Davis to work with their guys who have some speed and a "chance" to reach base. Dickerson, Stubbs, and their bench guys who might have some speed. Work hard with the minor leaguers coming up. Heck, this might be one of the worst base running franchises in all of baseball. The base-running is worse than pathetic. They need to learn how to get a lead. How to read a pitcher's move. How to get a good secondary lead. Know where the outfielders are playing. Cut the bases without the "Sunday drive" wide turns. Know who has the poor arms that you can take a base on. When you have a franchise that can't go out and sign the stars, you better take a big interest in the minor league system and getting guys to play the game the right way. I know that the "Right Way" label rubs a lot of folks on this board the "Wrong Way," but it is essential for a franchise like the Reds. When you don't always have all the horses, you can't beat yourself as much as they do. The fundamentals are not being taught and stressed nearly enough and they haven't been for a long time. The game is hard enough without playing it stupid.

While the actually running/technique(s) on the base paths is the responsibility of the runner, our base coaches need to know OF positioning/arm strength/etc in order to maximize base running opportunities.

I'd say the runners and the coaches are equally to blame.

bucksfan2
08-26-2009, 02:26 PM
If the Reds were smart, they would get a Joe Morgan or an Eric Davis to work with their guys who have some speed and a "chance" to reach base. Dickerson, Stubbs, and their bench guys who might have some speed. Work hard with the minor leaguers coming up. Heck, this might be one of the worst base running franchises in all of baseball. The base-running is worse than pathetic. They need to learn how to get a lead. How to read a pitcher's move. How to get a good secondary lead. Know where the outfielders are playing. Cut the bases without the "Sunday drive" wide turns. Know who has the poor arms that you can take a base on. When you have a franchise that can't go out and sign the stars, you better take a big interest in the minor league system and getting guys to play the game the right way. I know that the "Right Way" label rubs a lot of folks on this board the "Wrong Way," but it is essential for a franchise like the Reds. When you don't always have all the horses, you can't beat yourself as much as they do. The fundamentals are not being taught and stressed nearly enough and they haven't been for a long time. The game is hard enough without playing it stupid.

For my money Barry Larkin was one of the best I have ever seen at this. Its still a shame that he isn't working with the Reds.

Brutus
08-26-2009, 02:38 PM
This year, Willy Taveras is stealing approximately 13.5% of the estimated available bases he could steal. I run this based on the number of steals minus caught stealing and divide by the number of times on base (multiplied by the potential number of times a player could steal second or third). I use a multiplier for each base that accounts for the average number of persons that would be occupying the bases.

In any event, last year, Taveras was up round 30.5%. So clearly, even taking out of the equation his OBP, when he is on base, he's not stealing nearly at the same pace as he has in the past.

Chip R
08-26-2009, 02:40 PM
If the Reds were smart, they would get a Joe Morgan or an Eric Davis to work with their guys who have some speed and a "chance" to reach base. Dickerson, Stubbs, and their bench guys who might have some speed. Work hard with the minor leaguers coming up.


Unless I'm mistaken, both of them were in ST this year and Davis is a roving instructor in the minors. I have no idea if baserunning was on their agendas but I would think it was.

RANDY IN INDY
08-26-2009, 02:57 PM
For my money Barry Larkin was one of the best I have ever seen at this. Its still a shame that he isn't working with the Reds.

No doubt. I echo your sentiments about Larkin. I have always felt that he would be a great coach and teacher. Sometimes, guys like Larkin are just not interested. He certainly would seem to have all the necessary ingredients to be a great instructor. Communication skills would seem to be right at the top of his list.

When the game starts, the base coaches do have a lot of responsibility, but if the runners are not fundamental in their performance, they can make the base coaches look really bad. Bad base coaches can also make runners look very bad. I have never been a fan of Mark Berry at third base. I am not sure about Hatcher. This coaching staff seems to leave a lot to be desired, but then again, I feel that the best instructors should be in the minor league system. If they are taught correctly when they are coming up, fundamentals shouldn't have to be taught at the big league level. They should be executing and practicing what they have learned on a daily basis.

bucksfan2
08-26-2009, 03:03 PM
This year, Willy Taveras is stealing approximately 13.5% of the estimated available bases he could steal. I run this based on the number of steals minus caught stealing and divide by the number of times on base (multiplied by the potential number of times a player could steal second or third). I use a multiplier for each base that accounts for the average number of persons that would be occupying the bases.

In any event, last year, Taveras was up round 30.5%. So clearly, even taking out of the equation his OBP, when he is on base, he's not stealing nearly at the same pace as he has in the past.

Thanks for the research Brutus. Taveras has been less than advertised on the base paths this season. I thought the purpose of building a team around speed and defense is to use that speed and defense to make your team better. But when you have the leading SB guy from last season running an average of 13.5% of the time, something seems off.

Spring~Fields
08-26-2009, 03:33 PM
GP AB PA OBP
B. Phillips 115 432 483 .320
J. Hairston Jr. 86 307 340 .305
Laynce Nix 104 277 301 .302
Jay Bruce 83 299 333 .283
Willy Taveras 98 395 428 .273
D. McDonald 25 43 47 .255
C. Dickerson 96 253 297 .373


Most of the players that Jocketty and Baker have chosen with speed donít seem to have a very good ability to get on base to begin with, a limited hitting or walking ability to get on base, to set up RBI opportunity for the following batters. Can they afford the risk of trying to swipe another bag? Dickerson saw limited play.

Phillips is used as a cleanup batter who struggles against right handed pitching.
vs. LH 108 .350 .556 .906
vs. RH 324 .310 .404 .714

Apparently they ignore a players ability to get on base, and their history of it.

Looks like to me that Tevaras stole bases at or about his normal numbers.


GP SB OBP
2005 Hou 152 34 .325
2006 Hou 149 33 .333
2007 Col 97 33 .367
2008 Col 133 68 .308
2009 Cin 98 25 .273

Rojo
08-26-2009, 04:42 PM
And that's why station to station ball bores me to tears, but bad base running is even worse for an extended period of time.


I like Bill James' idea: after two pick-off throws any further throw is a ball on the hitter.

Cyclone792
08-26-2009, 04:50 PM
If the Reds were smart, they would get a Joe Morgan or an Eric Davis to work with their guys who have some speed and a "chance" to reach base. Dickerson, Stubbs, and their bench guys who might have some speed. Work hard with the minor leaguers coming up. Heck, this might be one of the worst base running franchises in all of baseball. The base-running is worse than pathetic. They need to learn how to get a lead. How to read a pitcher's move. How to get a good secondary lead. Know where the outfielders are playing. Cut the bases without the "Sunday drive" wide turns. Know who has the poor arms that you can take a base on. When you have a franchise that can't go out and sign the stars, you better take a big interest in the minor league system and getting guys to play the game the right way. I know that the "Right Way" label rubs a lot of folks on this board the "Wrong Way," but it is essential for a franchise like the Reds. When you don't always have all the horses, you can't beat yourself as much as they do. The fundamentals are not being taught and stressed nearly enough and they haven't been for a long time. The game is hard enough without playing it stupid.

I'm trying to remember where I read it, but it's been awhile (probably two years, if not longer) ... anyway, I once read a baserunning study that suggested that Scott Rolen was one of the best baserunners in MLB. It may have been a Bill James study, I'm not sure.

Anyhow, IIRC, the study focused on such things as going first to third on singles hit to the outfield, scoring from 2nd on a single, advancing on fly balls (or sac flies), etc. I wish I remember more specifics than that, but I do remember that Rolen was consistently ranked very high.

That obviously doesn't help with actual stolen bases, but in terms of overall baserunning itself, Rolen historically has had high value that hopefully a few other Reds are able to pick up on.

BRM
08-26-2009, 04:58 PM
I just looked at a Bill James Handbook article from Nov 2008 where he ranked the best and worst baserunners of 2008. Very interesting who was #1.

The best:

1. Willy Taveras
2. Ichiro Suzuki
3. Matt Holliday
4. Grady Sizemore
5. Jimmy Rollins
6. Nate McLouth
7. Ian Kinsler
Randy Winn
9. Jacoby Ellsbury
10. Carlos Beltran

The worst:

1. Dioner Navarro
2. Magglio Ordonez
3. Edgar Gonzalez
4. Yorvit Torrealba
5. Yunel Escobar
6. Mike Lowell
7. Ramon Hernandez
Prince Fielder
Billy Butler
10. Long List of Guys


Here's the full article - http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2008/11/the_bill_james_3.php

RedsManRick
08-26-2009, 05:05 PM
FWIW, the BP Baserunning Report.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/

Rolen's data if from both CIN & TOR, so he's not ranked.



# NAME GA_OPPS EQGAR SB_OPPS EQSBR AA_OPPS EQAAR HA_OPPS EQHAR OA_OPPS EQOAR OPPS EQBRR
1 Willy Taveras 14 0.9 31 1.4 40 -0.2 35 1.0 226 0.7 346 3.7
Scott Rolen 21 -0.6 5 -0.5 43 1.5 34 3.0 262 0.0 365 3.4
2 Brandon Philli 11 0.2 29 -1.8 31 0.5 25 1.7 224 1.1 320 1.7
3 Laynce Nix 9 0.4 1 -0.2 20 0.7 13 0.6 147 -0.3 190 1.1
4 Wladimir Balen 2 0.0 0 0.0 2 0.0 3 0.1 30 0.3 37 0.4
5 Adam Rosales 11 0.4 2 -0.7 14 0.2 10 0.3 106 0.1 143 0.3
6 Jay Bruce 10 -0.5 6 0.3 22 -0.2 14 0.3 127 0.4 179 0.3
7 Paul Janish 9 -0.3 0 0.0 9 -0.2 10 0.3 72 0.3 100 0.1
8 Jonny Gomes 9 0.1 1 0.1 12 -0.4 10 0.2 102 -0.1 134 -0.2
9 Jerry Hairston 15 1.2 12 -0.6 19 -0.6 19 0.1 149 -0.6 214 -0.5
10 Drew Sutton 5 0.6 2 -1.2 2 0.0 2 0.0 19 -0.1 30 -0.7
11 Joey Votto 18 -0.4 5 0.3 25 -0.7 26 -0.2 193 0.0 267 -0.9
12 Ryan Hanigan 28 0.5 0 0.0 19 0.4 17 -1.6 172 -0.5 236 -1.2
13 Alex Gonzalez 10 -0.4 1 -0.6 8 0.1 14 -0.1 102 -0.3 135 -1.4
14 Chris Dickerson 20 -0.4 17 0.1 19 -0.7 25 -0.4 181 -0.5 262 -1.9
15 Edwin Encarnaci 12 0.0 2 -0.3 13 -2.3 6 0.1 83 -0.2 116 -2.8
16 Ramon Hernandez 10 -0.3 1 0.2 14 0.1 17 -3.0 133 0.1 175 -3.0

bucksfan2
08-26-2009, 05:06 PM
I'm trying to remember where I read it, but it's been awhile (probably two years, if not longer) ... anyway, I once read a baserunning study that suggested that Scott Rolen was one of the best baserunners in MLB. It may have been a Bill James study, I'm not sure.

Anyhow, IIRC, the study focused on such things as going first to third on singles hit to the outfield, scoring from 2nd on a single, advancing on fly balls (or sac flies), etc. I wish I remember more specifics than that, but I do remember that Rolen was consistently ranked very high.

That obviously doesn't help with actual stolen bases, but in terms of overall baserunning itself, Rolen historically has had high value that hopefully a few other Reds are able to pick up on.

Two years ago Rolen would have been a Cardinal. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he was considered one of the best base runners in the game because LaRussa and staff stress that. They are constantly putting players in motion and putting pressure of the defense.

Rolen last night made a play that really surprised me. He was on 2nd and there was a line drive hit to the RF. I heard GG say Rolen heading back to the bag to tag up. It was shocking because most of the Reds would have just gone half way then headed back when the ball was caught. There is a tremendous amount of value in getting to 3b with less than 2 outs.

BTW how nice is it to have a 3b who is very good in all aspects of the game.

Caveat Emperor
08-26-2009, 05:10 PM
My understanding (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) is that most teams have fairly accurate times on pitcher-to-plate and catcher-to-second -- done either live during previous matchups with a stopwatch or on video.

If that's true, shouldn't it just be a math question as to whether or not a stolen base gets attempted? If you know the pitcher is X seconds to plate, you know the catcher is X seconds on the throw to second, and you know the runner is X seconds when running 1st to 2nd, shouldn't you be able to fairly accurately predict when a stolen base is in order?

Having said that, I think the real reason why the Reds don't run is because they don't want to risk the precious few baserunners they do manage to get on.