Throwing out runners 101

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

You can read all about John Russell’s thoughts on the team’s issues throwing out base runners in this story I wrote earlier, but I wanted to expand on a few additional items here

A few points of emphasis before we get into some stats:

  • The fact that the Pirates have thrown out just 12.8 percent of runners trying to steal (this doesn’t count stolen bases with no throws, double steals or caught stealing by pitchers) is a problem that lies with both the pitchers and catchers. Ryan Doumit has had his share of issues, but for the large part, the pitchers aren’t helping him out.
  • When it comes to Doumit, Russell pointed out two things he needs to improve upon. His footwork needs to be quicker/shorter and his throwing motion needs to be shortened.
  • On the pitching end, Russell said he likes what he’s seen from Jeff Karstens and Brad Lincoln both in terms of how they vary their deliveries and how long they hold the ball. He noted that Zach Duke and Paul Maholm struggle in that area, and that when they lift their leg on the delivery it gives runners even more time to take off.
  • The other thing worth noting again is that the Pirates have a program in place from the lowest Minor League level on up to teach pitchers how to better hold runners on. So the expectation is that these pitchers should be better prepared with differing deliveries and timing by the time they get here.

Anyways, this issue has become such a widespread problem this year that it has garnered a ton of scrutiny. But I was interested to see how all these pitchers had done in these same areas in recent years. Have the individual numbers really gotten that much worse? Here are the specifics, which will allow you to see which pitchers are getting taken advantage of the most and which have taken steps back:

Ross Ohlendorf

  • 2010: 13 SB, 1 CS (93% success rate for runner)
  • 2009: 12 SB, 8 CS (60%)

Zach Duke

  • 2010: 6 SB, 1 CS (86%)
  • 2009: 7 SB, 8 CS (47%)
  • 2008: 6 SB, 6 CS (50%)
  • 2007: 5 SB, 5 CS (50%)
  • 2006: 13 SB, 12 CS (52%)

Paul Maholm

  • 2010: 4 SB, 1 CS (80%)
  • 2009: 15 SB, 6 CS (71%)
  • 2008: 5 SB, 7 CS (42%)
  • 2007: 11 SB, 6 CS (65%)
  • 2006: 13 SB, 11 CS (54%)

Jeff Karstens

  • 2010: 3 SB, 3 CS (50%)
  • 2009: 9 SB, 2 CS (82%)

Brad Lincoln

  • 2010: 2 SB, 1 CS (66%)

Octavio Dotel

  • 2010: 4 SB, 1 CS (80%)
  • 2009: 14 SB, 5 CS (74%)
  • 2008: 16 SB, 1 CS (94%)
  • 2007: 2 SB, 0 CS (100%)
  • 2006: 1 SB, 0 CS (100%)

Evan Meek

  • 2010: 9 SB, 0 CS (100%)
  • 2009: 4 SB, 2 CS (66%)

Joel Hanrahan

  • 2010: 5 SB, 1 CS (83%)
  • 2009: 6 SB, 3 CS (66%)
  • 2008: 11 SB, 0 CS (100%)
  • 2007: 4 SB, 2 CS (66%)

Sean Gallagher

  • 2010: 1 SB, 1 CS (50%)
  • 2009: 2 SB, 1 CS (66%)
  • 2008: 5 SB, 4 CS (56%)
  • 2007: 4 SB, 4 CS (50%)

Brendan Donnelly

  • 2010: 6 SB, 0 CS (100%)
  • 2009: 2 SB, 0 CS (100%)
  • 2008: 1 SB, 1 CS (50%)
  • 2007: 2 SB, 0 CS (100%)
  • 2006: 1 SB, 0 CS (100%)

D.J. Carrasco

  • 2010: 7 SB, 3 CS (70%)
  • 2009: 1 SB, 3 CS (25%)
  • 2008: 3 SB, 2 CS (60%)

Javier Lopez

  • 2010: 1 SB, 1 CS (50%)
  • 2009: 1 SB, 0 CS (100%)
  • 2008: 1 SB, 3 CS (25%)
  • 2007: 0 SB, 1 CS (0%)
  • 2006: 2 SB, 0 CS (100%)

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