Nothing like a caught stealing in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run at the plate to get you thinking about how effective the Phillies have been at stealing bases this season. Turns out the answer is less.
The Phils are on pace to steal 23 fewer bases in 2009 than they did in 2008 and be caught nine more times. Newcomer Raul Ibanez isn’t the problem, he’s been safe in all four of his steal attempts.
The problem is that Rollins and Victorino have been awful trying to steal bases. Here’s what they’ve combined to do this year compared to what they did last year:
Rollins and Victorino
Rollins and Victorino are on pace to steal 38 fewer bases and be caught 12 more times. That’s not going to happen, but we already know that at least once in 2009 Victorino is going to get caught stealing with Stairs at the plate as the tying run in the bottom of the ninth.
The good news is that the other guys continue to swipe bags with tremendous efficiency. The players on the team other than Rollins and Victorino have combined to steal 18 bases and been caught just twice. Werth, with eight steals and just one caught stealing, is on pace to steal 30 for the first time in his career. His twenty steals in ’08 was a career high and the first time he ever had more than 11 in a season.
Mayberry will stay with the team as a bench player.