We were told that the team is being switched from an offense reliant on Johnsons to score runs, to one based on speed and all around hitting. We all know the hitting has been miserable.
But what about the proposed speedy team?
The Reds are actually on pace for 103 total team steals which surprised me somewhat. So assuming they keep it up, they will add 18 more stolen bases over the previous year so technically they are improving.Code:2009: 44 YTD 2008: 85 2007: 97 2886: 124
But does that count as "havoc"? Is it the constant base running presence that keeps pitchers awake at nights? The Reds are currently 7th in the NL in stolen bases. Just barely in the top 1/2 of the league. It doesn't strike me that other teams think we're a base stealing juggernaut.
Assuming they keep up the stolen base rate, which I don't think is a given, they will still end up 21 stolen bases shy of 2006 when we had Phillips, Freel and Lopez truly running amok on the base paths. So much so the Reds were 3rd in the NL in total stolen bases, and 6th in all of MLB.
What about base running on hits? Does the havoc show up in stretching singles into doubles? Swiping an extra base here and there on balls in play? I think there's some nifty stat out that there specifically measures extra bases being taken on hits. But I don't know it, so I looked at it a different way.
All of the following activities require some component of speed and aggressive base running. Here's how the Reds stack up against the rest of the NL:
Total bases: 14th
Extra base hits: 14th
Factoring in that GABP suppresses doubles and triples, and that the Reds offense in general is miserable, I'm still not seeing the speed component of the Reds offense. If they were, in fact, creating havoc by swiping extra bases on the rare occasions they do get a hit I'd think it would show up somewhere.
The ranking against the other NL teams hasn't really changed much 2006 to now. With the exception of triples, generally speaking we're in the bottom half of the NL in those above listed categories. Since triples are the only difference, and we're only 1/2 through the season, I'm willing to bet that's a sample size result, not a true change in team approach.
Now, all of those categories (2b, TB, etc) are impacted by a number of other factors so I'm not putting a ton of stock in the NL category listings. But it does give us a nod in the direction of "there's no havoc here". Otherwise there would be significant changes in our rankings compared to our other teams or verses previous versions of the Reds.
Ultimately, there's no real surprise here. We can all tell by looking that there's not been any havoc on the base paths. But the question is why? If that was the organizational philosophy why have they seemingly abandoned their plan?