On San Diego's Planned Baserunning Aggression

Put two and two together, and things could get ugly quickly.

If you don’t have the patience to read both of those links, then I’ll summarize them for you.

First, the Padres have announced that they plan to give all their runners the green light–Matt Stairs and Kyle Blanks included.

Second, studies show that in order to make a significant difference, basestealing needs to be successful over 80 percent of the time. In fact, 70 percent success is actually detrimental to a team’s run scoring.

Sigh.

This sort of thing vividly illustrates the disconnect between the sabermetric community and baseball insiders.

San Diego went 82-111 in steals last year; that’s 73.8 percent. That gave them about…two extra runs.

Imagine if some of the slower baserunners start running, dragging the SB% down to about 70. That only hurts the offense.

I understand that Petco Park doesn’t allow homers to fly out, and that prompts San Diego to look for other ways to score. Still, this reminds me of the Rockies’ struggles with Coors; trying to acquire pitchers that fit a stereotype in  war against their ballpark.

Still, it strikes me that Petco’s huge gaps would fit a line drive, doubles-and-triples approach better than steals. There’s still 90 feet between the bases after all.

I really hope that this is just spring talk, and not something that the Padres actually stick to during the year; it could cost an offense-challenged team even more runs.

Tags: Padres

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