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I went ahead and picked up Jarrod Dyson this past week only to watch him sprain his ankle before even entering my lineup. ESPN has him listed as 0.0% ownership, so apparently my team doesn’t even count in their world. I was about to get all depressed about it and throw on my Skinny Puppy t-shirt and black eyeliner when I realized that this is a SAGNOF world, and that means when one speedster goes down, we just go to the heap for another. We’re about 1/4 of the way through the season already, and that means it’s time to take a look at some stats for pitchers, catchers, and teams to try to exploit when chasing steals. I’ll also take a look at what Will Venable is up to and how Pedro Florimon may be a possible source of cheap speed in very deep leagues. At the beginning of the season, I posted the 2012 numbers for pitchers and catchers who should be exploited or avoided when it comes to steals, as well as team SB allowed for matchup purposes.  Here are those same stats through the first 40 games of the 2013 season.

MLB Catchers CS%
Red Light Green Light
Wieters 56% Salty 6%
Rosario 47% Iannetta 9%
Eliis 46% Suzuki 9%
Martin 43% Lucroy 11%
Y. Molina 35% C. Santana 15%
MLB Team SB Allowed
Red Light Green Light
Orioles 9 Pirates 39
Yankees 11 Rays 37
Twins 13 Angels 36
DBacks 14 Padres 36
Dodgers 14 Mariners 32
MLB Pitchers SB Allowed
Red Light Green Light
Griffin 0 Volquez 14
Corbin 0 Burnett 13
Kuroda 0 Feldman 9
Hellickson 0 Cain 8
Kershaw 0 Lincecum 8
Kennedy 0 Hanson 7
Lee 0 Hamels 7
Sabathia 0 S. Miller 7
Wainwright 0 A. Sanchez 7
Stults 0 R. Hernandez 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

- Ryan Hanigan and Brian McCann are throwing runners out at a clip of 67% and 57% respectively, but their time on the DL keeps them from qualifying on the MLB leaderboards yet. I would avoid matchups against Hanigan like the plague. He’s one of the best catchers I’ve seen outside of Yadier Molina and gets half the hype. Obviously, I’d be cautious about chasing steals against Wieters, too.

- As a team, the Dodgers have caught 13 base stealers, while only allowing 14 steals. Meanwhile, teams seem to be running at will against the Rays, Angels, and Jesus Montero in the AL and the Buckos and Friars in the NL.

- It looks a little odd to see the Pirates in the top 5 for most SB allowed while Russell Martin is in the top 5 for CS%. This is partly due to the fact that Michael McKenry has allowed 23 SB in only 14 games played this season.

- As far as the pitchers go, David Price would have actually made this list with 8 SB allowed, but I didn’t include him since he’s on the DL. It shouldn’t be a big surprise to see Burnett and Volquez at the top of the list. Of the ten “red light” pitchers, five are lefties and five are righties. I would have thought it would be a lefty heavy list. Those ten pitchers are the only ones in MLB who have yet to allow a steal and have at least 50 innings pitched. Eric Stults is doing his part not to add to the high SB allowed numbers in San Diego.

What does this all mean for those of us chasing steals? When deciding who to sit/start or who to pick up for a week to fill in, it’s wise to look at team matchups and pitching matchups to know which players to avoid starting or adding to our rosters in hopes of a steal or three. For example, as much as I love Juan Pierre, I’m not going to start him in a week where he faces the Reds and the DBacks, but I’ll be sure to get him in there when he sees the Padres.

Adam Eaton, OF  (9% owned) Eaton is scheduled to begin his rehab at AAA, and could rejoin the DBacks soon. He will most likely be inserted immediately into centerfield and the leadoff positions, and could have an impact in multiple categories, including steals, for your fantasy squad in the second half of the season. If he’s not already stashed, I’d forgo the rest of this article and grab him.

Will Venable, OF (17% owned) – Venable had his second slam and legs in two weeks on Sunday and he looks like somebody that can contribute to a lot of fantasy teams. While his average still leaves a lot to be desired, he’s getting some regular playing time and has shown a nice combination of power and speed already. I’d watch Venable closely if you have a need in your outfield, but I’d be wary of picking him up this week for steals alone, since he’ll match up against both Yadier Molina and Miguel Montero.

Pedro Florimon, SS (1% owned) – The Twins shortstop is more of an AL-only or very deep look, but worthy of a look nonetheless. He’s got 5 steals on the season already, and while I wouldn’t expect much, he’s got the wheels to steal 15-20 bases on the year, which is useful in some formats. The Tigers have allowed the tenth most SB in baseball, and the Twins have a four game set against them at the end of this week.  

Odds and Ends:

Jurickson Profar, 2B – Profar stole 16 bags in 126 games at AA last year, but you really don’t need me to tell you to go pick him up.

Eric Young Jr., OF – Cuddyer could be back later this week, which means EY2 could see more time on the pine.

  1. Nelson Santovenia says:
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    2 very different players, but why have Braun and Jon Jay stolen so few bases this year? I was counting on at least 30 combined and will likely fall waaaaay short of that.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Nelson Santovenia: Thanks Nelson….not sure what the answer is to the Braun side, as the Brewers are obviously running since they are second in all of baseball in SBs. As far as Jay goes, he should still be good for 10 steals or so ROS, but the Cards are DFL in SBs so far this year with only 13…

      • jacks says:
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        @Mike: SIMPLE, Braun has tried to steal 7 bags and has been thrown out FIVE times.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          @jacks: There ya go…thanks jacks!

          • Mike

            Mike says:
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            @Mike: Now we just have to crack the code as to why he’s getting caught so frequently….

            • jacks says:
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              @Mike: Stiff neck, back (and upper lip in the face of the Roid chanting)… he’s definitely not playing at 100%.

              • goodfold2 says:
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                @jacks: probably also why his homers are down, he still gets a lot of singles.

  2. Moose Out Front says:
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    Love this feature. Bookmarked for steal streaming (which I do partake in).

    Another player to look at is Leonys Martin. 5 SB, 1 CS in the past week with a season slash of 283/333/435.

    I don’t know if there’s somethign to Kinsler being out and Elvis batting leadoff that has made Martin run more, but he’s on the heavy side of a CF platoon, hitting, and now running.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Moose Out Front: Really appreciate that Moose, thanks for reading! I love Martin as well, and he’s certainly starting to show up on the radar with his recent steals surge…definitely somebody to look at that you can probably snag for nothing right now…

  3. JoeG says:
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    Picked up Dyson also, when he got hurt I re-picked up L.Martin. Even so he only bats against Rightys, he’s starting to hit & run.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @JoeG: Thanks Joe…I did the exact same thing, except I had to then cut Martin to get Teheran in my lineup for his start against the Twinkies…I’m sure Martin will make another appearance on my roster very soon…

  4. Mariner Mike says:
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    Picked up Adam Eaton last night do you like his upside? Have Ellesbury and have been greatly dissapointed, maybe he will come back to respectability soon. What do you think? Thank you for your help. Could be a productive twosome HOPE

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Mariner Mike: Thanks Mike….I do, and I think you’ll be happy with Eaton…

      • Mariner Mike says:
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        @Mike: Do you think there’s hope for Ellesbury coming back somewhat?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          @Mariner Mike: Sure…as long as he’s healthy I don’t see any reason why he can’t snag another 20 bags ROS…

          • Mariner Mike says:
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            @Mike: One more thing, my OF is Cespedes, Cuddyer,Marte,Swisher,Eaton,And Ellesbury, some have been slumping but I think if they play to expections not to bad what do you think? Pros and Cons Thank you again for your help!

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              @Mariner Mike: Looks really good man, maybe a tad light on the power side, but that might be nitpicking…plenty of steals and runs…

  5. Bert Ernie says:
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    OK, Mike. EY2 stole only one base last week, though he did hit me a homerun and score five times. So he wasn’t a total bust — but I need the SPEED, dammit! I need to decide between him and Venable for the coming week, and you’ve kinda poo-pooed them both for that time span. With a gun to our heads, who do we go with?

    (BTW, there doesn’t seem to be a player page for EY2. When I click on his link, nothing.)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Bert Ernie: Hey Bert/Ernie..not sure what’s up with that page…sorry about that. I’d go with Venable, I just can’t figure EY2 out as far as the steals go, but I’m glad he was able to help you in some other cats…Martin might be worth a look too if he’s available as some of the other commenters have mentioned, he’s got Seattle at the end of this week and they can’t seem to catch baserunners…

  6. Tom Thumb says:
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    Giancarlo + Strasburg or Kemp + Moore? XBH and OBP keeper.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Tom Thumb: Thanks Tom…I like the Giancarlo side in that format…

      • Tom Thumb says:
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        @Mike: Thanks, Mike!

  7. Zach says:
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    Would you drop Michael Saunders for Adam Eaton?

    • The Biz says:
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      @Zach: I think depends on when Eaton gets the call. What about dropping Werth for Eaton? Werth out possibly two more weeks?! Thanks all.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Zach: Thanks Zach…great question. I think that Saunders is your man for homers…but I think that Eaton will hit for a much better average and could finish the year with more SBs than Saunders… I think I would make that swap, yes, if I could afford the 10-12 less homers I’d get from Eaton

  8. Mariner Mike says:
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    Please check my reply thanks

  9. Mariner Mike says:
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    My OF is Cespedes,Ellsbury,Marte,Cuddyer,Swisher,and Eaton. Some in slumps but if they play to expectations not bad. What do you think? Pros and Cons. Thank you again for the help.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Mariner Mike: Hi Mike… I got to this one up the page a bit…sorry I missed it the first time…

  10. Charles says:
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    I’ve been using Viciedo in my OF while BJ gets his sh!t together. You don’t have any reservations about burning a bench spot while waiting for Eaton? I’d probably just get rid of Odorizzi, but I’m a chronic rosterbator. I like playing the short-schedule-days game whenever possible.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Charles: Thanks Charles… Me too with the rosterbator thing…I guess it depends on your league and how likely it is that Eaton gets scooped up, but I’d have no problem dropping Odor for Eaton…

  11. JoeG says:
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    L.Martin sitting vs and righty. Why?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @JoeG: Hi Joe…because we picked him up? seriously though I have no idea…

  12. Clint says:
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    Would you hang onto Profar or drop him to stash Eaton? I just dealt Marte for Bruce so I figure I’m gonna need more speed at least until Han-Ram returns for me.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Clint: If it’s not a keeper, I’d take Eaton, given that Profar looks to be splitting time at the moment…

  13. Sanfran says:
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    Thoughts on Dee Gordon? Will he hit enough to stay in the lineup?
    What is his role when HanRam returns?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Sanfran: Thanks Sanfran. His average and OBP are kind of the pits right now…I’d like to think that he’s going to stick at short or even move over to second eventually, but if he doesn’t hit, it will be hard to justify keeping him in the lineup everyday. The good news is his contact percentage is a good 90%, BABIP is only 222 and he’s walking at a decent enough clip of 10%, so there’s a chance he could start to turn things around based on those numbers…

  14. Sanfran says:
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    Thanks. I have the 1 waiver slot and he was dropped. I need steals and he looks like a dude worth a gamble, especially in the MI spot.

  15. Malarkey says:
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    Interesting conundrum… I was interested in Burnett’s status in SB allowed, and found that he’s a “Green Light”, and the Pirates in general are a “Green Light”… Yet Russell Martin is a “Red Light”, how does that happen? **Mind Officially Blown**

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Malarkey: Thanks Malarkey…Yeah I had to look at the stats like ten times to make sure I had it right….Martin is fourth in MLB in CS% at like 41%, yet the Pirates have allowed an MLB leading 40 SBs…crazy

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