I wrote this on May 12th :
“Phil Nevin needs to be better — it’s that simple. I’m bullish on being aggressive when sending runners who are rounding third, especially with two outs, and the number of opportunities may be a factor. But there is simply no positive manner in which to spin ‘We lead the league in guys getting thrown out at home plate!'”
That was part of an article detailing how the Yankees base running wasn’t just bad – it was historically bad. You can read the full article HERE.
Yet somehow, two and a half months later, base running on a team wide level has not improved whatsoever. In fact, it may have gotten worse. Consider these rankings:
MLB leaders in outs made at home plate:
Yankees – 15
Boston – 12
Nobody else in double digits
Outs made on bases, any base:
Yankees – 33
No other team over 30
Percentage of extra bases taken (advancing more than one base on a single, more than two bases on a double, etc.):
Yankees – 30th in MLB at 31% (well behind 29th place Seattle at 34%. League average is 40%)
A point I made in the original article still stands: Those numbers seem contradictory. A team can be so bad at not advancing and taking extra bases, but they still lead the league in getting thrown out on the bases anyway? How can those two things be true? It stands to reason, if you’re taking a lot of bases, you might get thrown out often too. Or, if you don’t take the risk of advancing, at least you’re not running into outs. Well, with this team, there is no rhyme or reason apparently.
I’m not on the field and in the clubhouse, and I normally don’t like pointing blame at one or two individuals, but serious questions have to be asked about the coaching. Base running is clearly either not being addressed or it’s being addressed in a substandard manner. Nevin has been awful, and Brian Cashman made a public statement of support for Reggie Willits (“Nobody works harder” – come on man, donkeys work hard too, so what?) And this certainly is not a situation like the online “Fire Marcus Thames!” chants – Thames was the hitting coach when the Yankees lead the league in runs per game from 2019-20. The base running has been hideous for a long time.
I understand base running is not nearly as a significant an issue at hitting or pitching, but it’s not insignificant either. It’s also a far easier fix than hitting and pitching as well.
Did I miss something? Let me know.
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