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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Nationals’ Martinez wants Trea Turner to run more

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Trea Turner led the National League in stolen bases last season, and Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez wants him to run even more.

Turner was successful on 43 of 52 attempts last year. He had a career-high 46 steals in 2017. Martinez wants the speedy shortstop to attempt close to 100 this year.

Turner got his third steal of the spring during Saturday’s 4-4 tie against St. Louis.

Come to think of it, players who run every chance they get could very well be worth exploring- at any rate, it’s the perfect response to how twitchy modern pitching has become…..

QLE Posted: March 24, 2019 at 07:05 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dave martinez, nationals, stolen bases, trea turner

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   1. Jose Canusee Posted: March 24, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5824948)
If the additional running adds to the win expectancy expect the teams with good runners to have their games go a couple of minutes longer as pitchers throw more to first, especially since they don't have to save themselves with relievers coming in the sixth for an inning apiece. Pitch clock won't help here.
   2. John Reynard Posted: March 25, 2019 at 03:44 AM (#5825028)
That all may be true. But, a runner taking leads and the like with a pick-off or three is a lot more exciting than watching the reliever sweat for 25 seconds or so before even getting serious about throwing to the plate.

I don't believe that guys running 100 times is plausible in the modern game though. Trying to steal at a team level is selecting risking of baserunners (-OBP) to move further around the bases (+SLG). The higher slugging is and the lower OBP and particularly BA are, the less valuable the SB (more Ks = can't even score from 3rd sometimes with no outs or when the hit does come, you might have scored from 1st anyhow) is and the higher the cost of the CS is (due to higher slugging, thus more value for a runner on 1st).

I actually think the break-even point for the median steal situation is more like 81-85% success now rather than the roughly 65-70% it was in a lower slugging, higher BA era. I'm sure someone has done the math all the way out though. I'm absolutely sure its higher than it was in the 80s when guys ran 100 times.

I'd still love to see Turner try to do it. With Soto batting behind him it'll get Soto more FB and Soto destroys those. So, that may be smart strategy even if Turner's running in a vacuum is not always the best plan.

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