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Friday, April 18, 2014

Fletcher: Foes have slowed Trout in one category so far - steals

But..but..Miguel Cabrera has none.

Of all the elements of the young Angels season that have not gone according to expectations, there might be nothing as surprising as this: It took Mike Trout 14 games to even attempt a stolen base.

This is a guy, after all, who stole 49 bases as a rookie, a guy whose value is accentuated by his combination of power and speed.

Stealing bases, however, is about more than speed. It’s about opportunity, and that has been the obstacle for Trout since the start of last season.

“I think every team and every pitcher knows when he gets on he’s a threat to steal, and they have made adjustments,” said Angels bench coach Dino Ebel, the third-base coach for Trout’s first two full seasons.

Although Trout has the green light most of the time, he has not been running as much over the past season-plus.

Trout’s stolen base total dropped from 49 in 2012 to 33 in 2013, and this season he has just one through 15 games.

“Pitchers have been giving me a lot of different looks,” Trout said. “You don’t want to run into outs, but we’re going to stay aggressive for sure.”

The low total this season has been about a combination of pitchers holding him close and a surprisingly low number of opportunities.

After 71 plate appearances, Trout has found himself on first base, with second unoccupied, only 10 times. In six of those instances, a left-handed pitcher has been on the mound. In one of the other four, the game was 11-1.

Repoz Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:27 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels

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   1. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: April 18, 2014 at 08:30 AM (#4688341)
It looks more like a lack of opportunity rather than anything else. I'll guess there will be a 15 game stretch somewhere along the way where opportunities abound and he'll go 8-for-9 in steals and get himself back on a pace to steal 35-40 for the season.
   2. sinicalypse Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4688351)
newschool pujols has 4HR/17hits on the season so who wants to mess with screwing up the 3R HR?

i also wouldn't be surprised if there's some sort of sub/conscious thing with scioscia to not risk injury with trout (see zimmerman) via the SB seeing as two years ago he formally wasn't the most important guy on the team. with angels dropping like flies this season and raul ibanez already hitting 4th in the lineup i wouldn't be surprised if it was decided that his ~.320/30/80 was deemed too important to risk injury when the next two batters are hitting .266 and .164.

and btw, this is where missing "hambone" aka "offensive saberhagen" really hurts the angels because it certainly seemed to be an "on" year for josh.
   3. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4688520)
Last year, Trout only had one stole base (in one attempt) through the first 16 games. People were saying the same things then as they are now — don't wanna get hurt, bulked up too much, etc. It's not a big deal. The guy's going to get his 30+.
   4. Shredder Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4688625)
newschool pujols has 4HR/17hits on the season so who wants to mess with screwing up the 3R HR?
Plus, four of those other hits have been doubles. Trout is going to score from first on a double most of the time. So it's really a risk v. reward thing.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4688803)
And how much of baserunning value derives from steals? I'm honestly asking because I don't know. But if the break-even point is somewhere around 70-75% (I know, differs by context), Trout's 33 for 40 last year is just 3-5 bases gained. His 49 for 54 the previous year was on an order of 9-11 bases gained and that's certainly a lot.
   6. Joe Bivens Recognizes the Kenyan Precedent Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4688821)
My crude observations place SB's as slightly more valuable than sac bunts.

edit..I hate sac bunts, unless with no outs in a tie game in the bottom of the 9th.
   7. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4688823)
Trout just stole a base in the first inning today. Non-existant problem solved!

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