Were the Yankees holding Abreu back on the basepaths?

Entering Monday, Bobby Abreu has successfully stolen eight bases.  And just as important, Abreu has not been caught once this season. 

I am not asking whether or not the Angels or Yankees run more, because it seems obvious that the Angels do.  Although in terms of stolen bases, it is much closer than we might think. 

The Angels are all about manufacturing runs, obviously.  It seems as though the Yankees would like to get a little closer to doing that, but not at the expense of decreasing their odds of scoring. 

A mixture of getting on base, hitting for power, and stealing bases–while not getting caught too much–is the way to go.  But not every team will succeed at all of these. 

But in the case of Abreu…maybe he wasn’t as aggressive as he could have been under the watch of the Yankees?

Who knows why exactly, they stole a lot of bases each year that Abreu was there.  And Bobby did have 25 and 22 steals in each full year he spent in New York.  Though in 2008, his final year with the Yankees, Abreu was caught way more than one would like (successful only 67% of the time). 

But so far, Abreu is making me think that maybe, just maybe, he can still be a threat on the basepaths. 

In 2004, Abreu stole 40 bases, while only being caught 11% of the time.  Which is crazy good.  But after that season, Abreu never attempted that many stolen bases again (45 attempts). 

I don’t watch the Angels much, just on occasion.  So I am not sure if Abreu has free reign on the bases, or if he simply going when instructed. 

And I am not sure of the variables either.  Maybe the high stolen base total is only because the right situations have occured more often than they normally do.  Maybe he has faced more weak-throwing catchers so far, or pitchers that don’t control the running game well.

I really don’t know.

But for a guy that is supposed to be declining, it seems strange that he is as good as ever as a basestealer.

…or maybe he is simply trying to maximize his talents in order to get some real money this offseason.  

4 Comments

You’re talking about Mike Scioscia, who runs his players around the bases like jack russell terriers, and a very small sample size. I think Abreu’s SB% will fall back to earth, though I think he’s far from an inept baserunner.

maybe having a-rod hitting behind him was a factor?

Another great point.

But that would mean ARod had to be good at hitting well when it matters. :) Jk, good point though.

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