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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kornacki: Leyland hopes Austin Jackson steals more bases

Not exactly the latest “Steve Speak”...but it’ll do.

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland was asked what he wanted to see from Jackson, 26, in his fourth season.

“Just to maintain,” Leyland said. “If Austin Jackson does what he did last year and added a few extra stolen bases, I’d be a happy man.”

Steals is the lone area where Jackson’s game has declined. His stolen bases continued to drop, from 27 as a rookie to 22 in 2011 and only 12 last season.

...Still, when reporters spoke with Jackson about this on Monday morning, he was a bit ambivalent about the need to steal more bases. Jackson noted that he has a row of RBI machines behind him in the batting order: Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez.

“You’ve got those guys batting behind you,” Jackson said, while shrugging his shoulders. “They can win the game with one swing. I didn’t feel I needed to (steal).”

Leyland admitted that there are plenty of times not to run with that kind of lumber coming up to bat. Why risk taking a potential run off the bases with a bevy of power hitters lined up?

But I asked Jackson about the validity of stealing in the late innings of a game that is tied or when the Tigers are behind by one run.

“I don’t know,” Jackson said. “I just had a tough time with it last year.”

Repoz Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:24 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tigers

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