All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > SimLeague Baseball > Why Can't I Make Raines Steal?
8/25/2014 4:51 PM
I have '87 Tim Raines hitting leadoff in a theme league.  I have him set at "5" for base stealing, yet he is only 4 for 8 at 42 games, despite a .380 OBP.  '85 Willie McGee, who has a lower OBP, is also set at "5", and hits second, is 18 for 22.  What gives?
8/25/2014 6:57 PM
Have you tried offering Raines a bonus for every steal? Maybe he and the base coach need to go over the signs again?

It's surprising that he's stealing that much less than McGee. Double check your settings, and it will most likely level out some over the course of the season. 42 games is only 1/4 of the way through and a relatively small sample size.
8/25/2014 9:03 PM
1) Small sample size
2) Where are these hitters hitting, and who's hitting in front of them? They can't steal if they have slow runners in front of them...
3) Game situation might be an issue -- the game is less likely to steal in blowouts, as in real life. Are you seeing a lot of blowouts?
4) What are the catchers' arms in your league? I don't have data to support this offhand, but I believe runners tend to run a bit less against A+ arms than against D- arms (to use the extreme examples)
8/26/2014 12:26 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with this last point. I have noticed the lack of willingness to steal against A++ arms to an extreme degree where teams with super armed catchers have 30% of the SBA of c rated catchers. This is in open leagues with lots of base stealers. Follow up: do certain pitchers allow less SBAs?
8/26/2014 2:36 PM
A+ arms are the more likely reason. I have a team going now (New Orleans second line parade) with the extreme case situation of stealing 650 bases in 877 attempts during the regular season, but in the playoffs with a team of the best 12 basestealers in the game, They only went 0 for 2 in a 4 game playoff against Johnny Roseboro with all of them set to 5. ( on average they would have attempted 22 steals in 4 games). I should have set them all to zero but I figured why bother, they won't even try anyway.
8/27/2014 4:43 PM
Posted by alebenta on 8/26/2014 12:26:00 AM (view original):
I agree wholeheartedly with this last point. I have noticed the lack of willingness to steal against A++ arms to an extreme degree where teams with super armed catchers have 30% of the SBA of c rated catchers. This is in open leagues with lots of base stealers. Follow up: do certain pitchers allow less SBAs?
Are you kidding?? They are both running against the SAME catcher - Raines has 8 attempts and McGee has 22
8/29/2014 1:01 AM
Small sample size. Looking through the boxscores of your first 6 games, where Raines had 1 SBA, and McGee had 3 SBA, Raines isn't getting many opportunities to steal. In those first 6 games, despite a .419 OBP, he had only 2 opportunities to steal. He was caught in his only attempt, against an A+ catcher in one of them; In the other, he drew a leadoff walk against a C- catcher, so I'm not sure why he didn't go there. However, those were his only 2 times on base where there wasn't someone in front of him or he was already on 3B. I didn't look at the games after those, but it looks like he had a rough stretch over his next 25 games as his seasonal OBP dropped from .400 to .354 and he had just 5 attempts in that span. Then, in his last 19 games he had 12 attempts as he started getting on base more again and his OBP went back up to a .385 on the season. 

Likewise, for McGee, he started hot, had a number of SBA in the first few games, then cooled down quickly and though he wasn't on base much. In the 6 games I checked for him, seemed to have an open base virtually every time he reached. Since you've posted this, Raines has more SBA than McGee (10-8). 

170-175 PA isn't a big sample size... alot can change from that point on. Trends can be noticed like you did, and when you look to the underlying cause (open base in front) you can start to assess whether it's more valuable having Raines stealing or moving the 7-9 hitters around the bases (as it looked like he was doing early on), and then make any adjustments if you feel necessary from there.
9/9/2014 4:33 PM
One interesting thing I've noticed regarding this situation (and Raines is now starting to catch up) is that with McGee batting right behind Raines, with his low K and low BB rates combined with speed, is that McGee is hitting into a fair amount of fielder's choices (that I presume would more often be DPs with a lower speed rating). So, Raines gets on via a walk or single, but the stolen base opportunity falls to McGee when he hits into the FC.
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