Last season, the Diamondbacks made a huge jump in their amount of stolen bases, which also led them to get caught stealing more often.
Manager Kirk Gibson spent the spring teaching players to be smarter on the bases, but he still wants to keep the same mindset as last season.
“I think in general, we want to get smarter and not running into stupid outs, but the same time I would forgo that just to make sure we stayed aggressive,” Gibson told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Tuesday.
The Diamondbacks racked up 133 stolen bases and were caught 55 times in 2011, compared with 86 steals and 41 outs in 2010.
The high number of outs for stealing and also outs on the base paths in general
Not only was the high number of outs for stealing a concern for the coaches, but outs on the base paths in general were a focal point for improvement.
“Obviously, we make note of situations when you’re down 7-1, and we got a man on first and second, and somebody hits a line drive directly to the shortstop, and you get doubled-off. That’s a mental error,” Gibson said. “They’re trying to be aggressive in other situations; we accept that. I think it has a bad effect when you’re always correcting and being negative about situations when people run in two outs.”
Gibson mentioned that even if they’re down by several runs early in the game, they’ll keep the pressure on and take advantage on the bases instead of waiting for something to happen.
“This team plays better when we’re on go mode and when we’re aggressive mode, and it keeps us energized. We’re not going to play a dull, boring game just because we’re behind,” Gibson said. “We’re going to make some outs in the process, and we’re willing to accept that. But we want to have energy regardless of the score and right down to the end of every game.”