Connor Joe picked up a pair of stolen bases on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves. The Pirates in general haven’t been too aggressive on the base paths in spring, with those two by Joe finally putting them in double digits.
Maybe Spring results don’t matter too much, but it does seem important to use that time to pick up on strong habits to carry into the season.
With the new pitch clock and bigger bases, it seems things are trending in favor of being more aggressive on the bases, but up to this point it’s something that the Pirates haven’t put much of a focus on.
After all the games concluded Sunday, the Pirates ranked 26th in baseball in stolen bases with just 11 in 16 games played.
The Cincinnati Reds lead all of baseball with 27 in 18 games. The New York Yankees, who are probably more known for the power in their lineup thanks to Aaron Judge, are second with 25.
So it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that the Reds have scored the second most runs in baseball up to this point, the Yankees are 10th, while the Pirates also sit 26th with almost 50 runs less than their divisional rival.
Spring training numbers don’t matter to an extent, but it seems one is exploring ways to maximize on scoring runs, and succeeding, while another is struggling to fill up the scoreboard.
The Pirates have players that certainly have the capability of stealing bases, Ke’Bryan Hayes finished with 20 last year, Oneil Cruz had ten in 87 games played, and he had 19 in 68 games during the 2021 season.
Ji-Hwan Bae finished second in the system last year with 30 stolen bases. Liover Peguero, Travis Swaggerty, Andres Alvarez, Matt Gorski, and Jared Triolo all have spent time in major camp, and they all finished with at least 20 steals in the minors last year.
While not all of them are going to spend a considerable amount of time in the majors this upcoming season, there seems like there could be a lot more work being done in being aggressive and trying to get into scoring position, especially with the offense struggle so much.
Overall, what happens in spring isn’t going to necessarily translate to the regular season. The Pirates could be doing their own testing or have their own feelings on stealing bases and holding off till the season starts.
As things go on, and the projected regulars continue to get more playing time, it would be ideal to start treating things like they would once the season starts, if only for the habits.
The rotation has looked strong for the most part this spring, and baseball is making an effort to try and produce more scoring, why shouldn’t every team take advantage of it?
Pirates Prospects Daily
By John Dreker
Missed anything from yesterday? Here’s a rundown of what went on, looking at Spring Training action, prospect highlights, WBC recaps, Ethan’s Sunday article on Pirates business, as well as yesterday’s Daily article.
**Spring Training Recap: Braves 11, Pirates 3
**Pirates DVR: Antwone Kelly WBC, Bubba Chandler And Anthony Solometo Live BP
**World Baseball Classic Recap: Team USA Wins Opener
**Pirates Business: Who Could Qualify for the Prospect Promotion Incentive?
**Pirates Prospects Daily: Pirates Continue To Trade From Positions Of Strength To Help Immediate Needs
Song of the Day
Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.
so again………maybe someone should be ASKING the pirates why and writing about it…..?
I know it’s worthless sour grapes but Blake Sabol has probably won himself a spot on the 26 man as the Giants are now planning on using him in the outfield to keep his bat in the lineup. It’s just the middle of March but Sabol is making the Giants look like what they are, a better run organization than the Pirates. How did they let that guy get away but have roster space for Ryan Vilade?
Who knows maybe Sabol flames out but what’s unsettling is that a team currently projected to win 81.5 games currently thinks Sabol deserves a 26 man slot ALL SEASON whereas the 67.5 win Pirates didnt have room on its 40 man for him because, you know, Vilade & all of those prized possessions in our bullpen
Yes, more stolen bases should lead to more runs, more wins, yada yada yada … Perhaps, limiting spring steals is an attempt to avoid injury. Remember Gregory Polanco’s slide into second base, or Ke’Bryan Hayes sliding back to first base? Again, more stealing could improve run production but it avoids the elephant in the room. This team doesn’t hit!
Another check for the incompetent box of Mr. Manager, in my opinion. Also, Bae evidently has forgotten that he needs to add the “s” to his name and get on base. He was my pick for most to benefit from the new rules.
Maybe they are practicing baserunning on the backfields in non-game situations like was the vogue for pitchers in the last few springs. That really seems to work – practicing in non-game situations when game situations are available. A team like this could benefit from getting wild on the basepaths (if they can get on base)!
needs three s´s
Aggression is more extreme, usually involving maliciousness or even hostility that can take the form of violent action. Aggressiveness is rarely malicious or violent. Instead, the word connotes assertiveness and drive—a more figurative aggression . . . just sayin’
First they should focus on getting on base. They seem to struggle there. But I do love a stolen base. Especially after a bunch of pick off attempts.
This! Can’t steal 1b! Agree with the concept of the article, but this is a team that seams to find themselves hitless through 4-5 most games!
The M&P’s….all but Michelle are gone. 😕😢😢Am I the only one in America who owns John’s 1970 solo LP. I loved it. The man wrote good tuneful songs.
Second M&P’s song of the day in a week! Couldn’t be Anthony’s choice?….it’s more like Wilbur’s era!
And no one’s getting fat except Mama Cass.
I like pitchers who can throw strikes, hitters who can put the ball in play or work a walk, and runners who can take advantage of a pitcher to steal a base. That said, Joe was dead out at 3rd if the other team was paying any attention to him, and if the Catcher had put the throw on the inside part of the bag. He did not get a good jump, and the throw was there in time, but on the foul side of 3B.
Stealing 3B when down by a touchdown is not thought to be a smart baseball move.
There are players I’d like to see be more aggressive on this Pirate team, but Oneil Cruz, Bryan Reynolds, and Endy Rodriguez are not in that group. Definite OK for Bae, Swagg’s, Triolo, Joe, etc.
Future 40-40 Cruz should steal but not hurt himself
Why don’t you want those three stealing?