Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Running Game

"Robinson Cano is the only base runner who’s been thrown out by the Sox this year. Hang your head, Mr. Cano. You’re like the one guy in 500 who gets a citation for jaywalking." -Dan Shaughnessy

This is a problem. For all of the Sox' talk of run prevention, the inability of either backstop to stop the running game is a glaring discrepancy. Counting last night's partial game, the Red Sox have allowed 16 stolen bases in seventeen attempts. This is not okay.

I don't know what the answer is: there aren't many legitimate catchers out there, and those who are good are decidedly unavailable, while the in-system catchers are at least 2 years away. Maybe the pitchers need to do more work holding runners on... Throwing over to first once in a while, maybe? (I'm NOT talking to you, Clay Buchholz!)

One thing is for sure: pitching and defense only works when ALL NINE POSITIONS can make things work, and right now there's a glaring hole in the plan.

However, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, the steals haven't been too costly:

"I checked it out this morning. Of those 16 steals, nine have led to runs scoring. But only once so far did a stolen base helped lead directly to a loss."

Okay. But what if the Sox end up one win short of a playoff berth? I know there's a tendency to dismiss early struggles, and in some cases that is an appropriate course of action. Now? I think its time to at least consider the possibility that this is the weakness to focus on, and fix. Please, Theo?


  1. This has been a problem for a while with the Sox. Ever since Tek reached his mid-thirties he's a had a bit of trouble with throwing out base-runners. It was less of a problem back when Tek was still hitting .270 and knocking out around 20 home runs a season. But now that that aspect of his game is fading, it's a much more noticable problem. The Sox need to draft a young catcher in the next draft, but in the meantime, V-Mart needs to step it up.

  2. The problem is that any catcher decent enough to throw out runners - like the Molinas - typically suck too much to play every day. The exception is a player like Ivan Rogriguez or Yadier Molina, and they're both pretty rare. I'd much rather have a catcher who can hit.