Question of the Day, 4/26 …
When will the Halos start running again? — @K_Dodd3
A lot of you had this question, so I figured I’d address it. I wrote about their shockingly low stolen-base total earlier in the week, but it’s probably worth delving into a little further. The Angels are currently tied for 26th in the Majors with seven stolen bases, which is surprising because they have two of baseball’s fastest players in their lineup — Mike Trout (four steals) and Peter Bourjos (zero attemps) — and because Mike Scioscia‘s Angels teams have always been built on aggression.
The biggest reason for the low number, in my mind: Personnel. Simply put, when you have a lineup that’s capable of driving the ball, you’re less willing to sacrifice giving up an out on the bases. And the fact Bourjos and Trout are hitting right in front of Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo is a big reason why Scioscia hasn’t sent them very often. First, he doesn’t want to risk an out with his big bats up. Second, he doesn’t want a successful stolen base to lead to pitchers walking Pujols — already with five intentional walks — because first base is open.
Now, that’s just an explanation. I’m not saying I agree with it. I’d like to see Trout and Bourjos get turned loose a little more often, shaking some things up since the offense isn’t really clicking just yet. But, you know, they don’t pay me to make those decisions.
** For some supplemental reading, check out this piece from FanGraphs on the stolen bases being down throughout baseball.