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Game Thread: Twins vs Mets, 7/16/19, 7:10 PM CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:29 PM
I am getting this game thread up a lot earlier than I normally do. I typically like to wait until lineups are out so I am able to talk ab...
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Trading From A Position of Strength

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:26 PM
Trade Deadline is Approaching!!!!!!   I've seen some articles suggesting trading prospects for pitching help and most say we can aff...
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Morin DFAed

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:16 PM
https://www.mlbtrade...gnment-dfa.html   No corresponding move, no trade appears imminent.   *scratches head*  
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Twins stuff from around the Web (Fangraphs, Twitter, Athl...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:10 PM
Per request.....new thread! this seems like a really odd post to start with, which makes sense for a thread about the Twins and Internet....
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Gleeman & The Geek, Ep 420: All Astudillo, All The Time

Aaron and John return to the radio and talk about the ever-growing legend of Willians Astudillo, early impressions of Rocco Baldelli, Tyler Austin's brief stay on the roster, Byron Buxton's promising start, Michael Pineda showing big-time stuff, and joining the Costco world. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link.
http://traffic.libsy...3?dest-id=74590


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2 Comments

You guys are totally missing the point about Buxton. Despite all of his speed, Buxton has very little confidence in his technique. It was Paul Molitor who taught Buxton how to steal second base at the pro level. It will take a similar effort to teach him how to steal third base and how to steal home.

 

Meanwhile, you are also missing the point about why stealing bases is valuable. Applying pressure to the opposing pitcher is the point. When Buxton steals a base, it pressures the opposing pitcher. He steals third, he applies more pressure. When Buxton threatens to steal home, it applies even more pressure to the pitcher, which may induce a wild pitch, or a nothing ball right down the middle.

 

Most pitchers perform worse when runners are on base. Crank that irritation up several notches when a good base stealer is aboard. Ricky Henderson used to drive pitchers crazy with his running game, and it paid off in wins. 

 

You guys even said it yourselves - the Twins will probably get most of their runs via homers. Well, when Buxton is on base, the pitcher's attention is divided between the runner and the batter. If that helps induce a pitching mistake, the next pitch could wind up in the stands. Stealing bases helps make that more probable. 

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Brock Beauchamp
Apr 12 2019 09:42 PM

 

You guys are totally missing the point about Buxton. Despite all of his speed, Buxton has very little confidence in his technique. It was Paul Molitor who taught Buxton how to steal second base at the pro level. It will take a similar effort to teach him how to steal third base and how to steal home.

 

Meanwhile, you are also missing the point about why stealing bases is valuable. Applying pressure to the opposing pitcher is the point. When Buxton steals a base, it pressures the opposing pitcher. He steals third, he applies more pressure. When Buxton threatens to steal home, it applies even more pressure to the pitcher, which may induce a wild pitch, or a nothing ball right down the middle.

 

Most pitchers perform worse when runners are on base. Crank that irritation up several notches when a good base stealer is aboard. Ricky Henderson used to drive pitchers crazy with his running game, and it paid off in wins. 

 

You guys even said it yourselves - the Twins will probably get most of their runs via homers. Well, when Buxton is on base, the pitcher's attention is divided between the runner and the batter. If that helps induce a pitching mistake, the next pitch could wind up in the stands. Stealing bases helps make that more probable. 

Whoa. A lot to unpack here. I'm not doubting that Molitor did a lot to teach Buxton how to steal but I don't see how second is that different than third, while I also accept that it is different. Pitch selection, count, pitcher hand, and batter hand also play a larger role in third base. But the idea is the same; run when it's in your favor.

 

We're talking about a guy who could easily break the MLB record for consecutive stolen bases when all is said and done. He's over 60% of the way there already.

 

But Henderson is a bad comp for any base thief. I could be wrong but my memory of Henderson is that he was fast but never the fastest guy in the league; certainly not Coleman speed. Rickey did it from pure instinct and baseball smarts, coupled with very good speed. Which is why Rickey had such an elite OBP. He knew what pitch was coming and could see it from a mile away. It wasn't just speed, it was a load of natural ability and smarts. Buxton is good but he ain't Rickey good and he certainly lacks the pitch recognition of Henderson. By God, Henderson led the league by stealing 66 bases in 1998... at 39 years old. Speed ain't the deciding factor at that point.

 

Also, Rickey Henderson may be one of the least appreciated multiple record holders in MLB history. The dude had no flaws at the plate, though it was strange how his speed never translated to the field (not that Williams was ever held back by that, really).


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