Nothing like adding Juan Pierre to your team to get you thinking about stolen bases.

In 2011, Pierre stole 27 bases for the White Sox and was caught 17 times. So he was safe in about 61.4% of his steal attempts and out in about 38.6% of them. Between both leagues in 2011 there were 50 players who stole 20 or more bases last year. Of those 50, his 38.6% caught rate was the worst and nobody else was above 33.3%. Three players, Willie Bloomquist, Melkey Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez, stole 20 bases and were caught ten times, giving them a caught percentage of 33.3%.

Pierre has traditionally been a better base-stealer than that. His 61.4% safe rate in 2011 is the worst for his career since 2000 when he stole seven bases and was caught six times. For his career, his safe rate is about 74.5%. He was better than that as recently as 2010, when he stole 68 bases and was caught just 18 times for a safe rate of 79.1%. It was best in 2007. That year he stole 64 bases for the Dodgers and was caught just 15 times, for a safe rate of 81.0%. That’s the only time in his career he’s topped 80%.

One thing to love about Charlie Manuel as a manager is that his teams don’t get caught stealing. In each of his seven years at the helms of the Phils, the team has had a safe rate of at least 78.6%.

Over the last 20 years, the Phillies have had four different managers. Here’s the number of bases they’ve stolen each year and the number of times they’ve been caught.

Year SB CS Safe Manager
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
96
108
119
136
138
92
116
100
72
104
153
102
125
97
92
117
72
67
91
127
24
21
28
25
19
25
27
27
29
43
47
30
35
45
56
41
25
24
32
31
80.0%
83.7%
81.0%
84.5%
87.9%
78.6%
81.1%
78.7%
71.3%
70.7%
76.5%
77.3%
78.1%
68.3%
62.2%
74.1%
74.2%
73.6%
74.0%
80.4%
Manuel
Manuel
Manuel
Manuel
Manuel
Manuel
Manuel
Bowa
Bowa
Bowa
Bowa
Francona
Francona
Francona
Francona
Fregosi
Fregosi
Fregosi
Fregosi
Fregosi

One thing the table above shows is that the base-stealing for the Phils has gotten a bit less prolific over the past few years. In 2011, for the fourth straight year, the Phillies stole fewer bases than they had in the previous season. In three of those four years, their safe rate went down from the previous year.

Over the last 20 years, the best year for the Phils with the stolen base was 2007 when they stole 138 and were caught just 19 times. The worst was 1997 when Francona’s Phils were safe just 62.2% of the time as they stole 92 bags while being caught 56 times. It may have been a little hard to notice just what was going on on the bases that year, what with all the going 68-94 and whatnot.

If you total up the steals and caught stealings for those 20 years by manager, here’s what they look like:

Manager Years SB CS Safe
Manuel 7 805 169 82.6%
Bowa 4 429 146 74.6%
Francona 4 416 166 71.5%
Fregosi 5 474 153 75.6%

Charlie Manuel has managed the Phillies for seven years. In 2006, the team’s safe rate on steal attempts of 78.6% was fourth best in the NL. In each of the other six seasons, the Phils have had the best safe rate in the league.

So getting thrown out 40% of the time or so might not go over well. Just saying.

This article reviews where some of the 2011 Phils who won’t be with the team in 2012 are now.

This article looks at the top 20 prospects for the Phillies as ranked by MLB.com. Here’s Baseball America’s top ten list for the team.

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