Saturday, February 22, 2014

Reds ready to run like the wind in 2014?


The Reds haven't been known as a particularly aggressive team in years past when it comes to baserunning, but that could soon change under the tutelage of new manager Bryan Price.

Simply put, Price says he wants his players to take more advantage of opportunities on the bases, especially as it pertains to flat out stealing them.

“We’re not going to get to Opening Day and open up and give the green light to everyone,” 
Price told the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay. “However, spring training is the perfect opportunity to evaluate what these guys are capable of — and which guys need more help.”

So, which guys could Price be referring to? Well, for starters Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart might be two Reds who could help out in the stolen base department. Despite swiping 30 bags at Triple-A Louisville in 2010, Cozart did not attempt a single stolen base last season, and has only attempted four (all successful) in 300 games as a major leaguer.

Who else might be good candidates to steal bases?

“That’s what we’ve got to figure out, who are our high-percentage guys,” he said. “For me personally, being around this club for a while, I know that we need to be able to create scoring opportunities, especially in that bottom third of our lineup. Being station-to-station didn’t give us as many opportunities that I would have liked, so I think we have to be somewhat creative. It’s risk-reward.”

While Billy Hamilton will certainly help the Reds be more effective on the bases in 2014, it's going to take a collective team effort to be more aggressive overall. Lack of aggression on the basepaths is something that irked fans about the team under Dusty Baker. Many criticized Baker for not starting runners more often, but opting to "wait for the big hit," instead.

We shall see if Price's influence helps lead to the production of more runs.

Photo: Frank Victores/USA Today

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