When the Dodgers traded away Dee Gordon to the Miami Marlins this past offseason, I knew that the Dodgers would steal a lot less bases in 2015. While losing Gordon’s speed would definitely affect the Dodgers running game in 2015, I never imagined that they would be dead last in the majors with just 14 stolen bases through 77 games. The running game is no business of the Dodgers in 2015, and it is a shame.
Imagine if the Dodgers had a true leadoff guy who could get on base and make things happen on the base path. Imagine the destruction the Dodgers could make if they had hit more of their homeruns with runners on base. With a mix of power and a more aggressive (and successful) running game, this Dodger team could be one of the best offensive teams in Dodger history (even more so than they already are).
Having some more speed in the lineup could really spark this club into high gear. Losing Carl Crawford for most of the first half of the season also had a huge impact on the Dodgers running game along with the trade of Gordon. Crawford stole 23 bases for the Dodgers last season and zilch this season. Even though Crawford probably will never steal 60 bases like he did 2009 for the Rays, his absence has sure hit the Dodgers hard on the base path.
Not only have the Dodgers been bad at base running, but they went from second-best in the Majors with 138 stolen bases last season to dead last this season. That’s a sharp decline in that specific area of the team’s offensive game.
The Dodgers were leading the majors in stolen bases (87) before the All-Star Break last season. The Dodgers are getting on base this season and have a great .331 OBP collectively, but they are rarely stealing any bases.
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Stolen Base Breakdown:
When you only have 14 stolen bases and one was by Zack Greinke and another by the dearly missed Juan Uribe, you may have an issue.
Yasiel Puig hasn’t even stolen ONE base! He sure has made some TOOTBLANS on the base path though, and he’s been caught stealing twice. Puig has three documented TOOTBLANS according to TOOTBLAN Tracker.
Perhaps Andrew Friedman never predicted that Carl Crawford would be hurt this long (but couldn’t we all see that coming) or Yasiel Puig being able to play in just 29 games so far this year, but certainly the lack of stolen bases should be concerning. Not having a true leadoff hitter and also making foolish mistakes on the base path have combined to make the Dodgers the worst at stealing bases in the majors.
The Dodgers have Davey Lopes, who is a very respected base running instructor. Yet I think the problem lies more with the injuries to key players, the casting off of Dee Gordon, poor base running execution, Don Mattingly’s passiveness on the base path and the lack of speed and leadoff hitter for this lineup configured by the front office this offseason.
It’s not acceptable to go from the best to the worst in one season. The Dodgers may have just beat the scuffling Marlins in Miami, but we shouldn’t celebrate with tropical drinks just yet.
Less TOOTBLANS, a healthy Puig and Crawford and some more aggressiveness on the base path could perhaps lift the Dodgers out of the stolen base cellar for the season.
Or they could just hit a lot of homeruns.