Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!
New MLB rules could promote more aggressive baserunning and an increase in attempted stolen bases this season, and the A’s seem to be actively testing the waters with their running game in Spring Training.
Specifically, two new rules should make base stealing easier: first, the bases have grown from 15 to 18 inches squared. That may not seem like a lot, but I’ve seen countless plays decided by margins smaller than three inches. Second, pitchers will be restricted to two mound disengagements per plate appearance. This should result in pickoff attempts being made more sparingly.
Per Matt Kawahara at The San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s headed into last night’s game ranked third in stolen bases among MLB teams this spring, with 33 bags pilfered in 39 attempts. Not surprisingly, Esteury Ruiz leads the pack with six stolen bases. He had 85 steals in the minors last season. Conner Capel trails Ruiz with four stolen bases, and Nick Allen and Tyler Wade are tied for third with three apiece.
A’s manager Mark Kotsay said that players are being allowed to run more freely in Spring Training, but it won’t necessarily carry far into the regular season.
“We’ll start out the season and evaluate which guys we’re going to give the green light to and which guys we’re not.”
We won’t be waiting long to find out who gets the green light, as Opening Day is just six days away. Be sure to check out Kawahara’s full piece if you have access to The Chronicle. Have a wonderful weekend, AN.
- Toster: Jed Lowrie officially retires
- Gallegos: Roster decision on Pache likely to come down to wire
- Kawahara: A’s running game is active this spring; will it carry into season? ($)
- Thanawalla: Smith continues hot spring but A’s Opening Day status uncertain
MLB News & Interest:
- Ozanian and Teitelbaum: Baseball’s Most Valuable Teams 2023: Price Tags Are Up 12% Despite Regional TV Woes
- Buchanan: Minors Madness, the quest for the top team name in MiLB: Round 3 ($)
- Stark: The Shift is dead in MLB. But is the ‘two-man outfield’ next? And will it work? ($)
- The Athletic: The 2023 Aces Project: MLB insiders rank starting pitchers by tiers, from No. 1s to ‘guys’ ($)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
May the force be with Jed. Always.
7 seasons in Oakland— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 23, 2023
2 helmet flaps
Thank you for all the memories, @Jed_Lowrie! Best of luck in your next chapter! https://t.co/qutG84IHSH pic.twitter.com/jLzAwjnxwa
I love this idea.
(I only wish the A’s would bring him back on a one-day contract to face Sergio Romo at Oracle Park on Monday night. How fun would that be?! )— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 23, 2023
A'S RECENT MOVES: C Carlos Perez signed MiLB deal/assigned to LV, IF Ernie Clement released, OF JJ Bleday, IFs Dermis Garcia, Jordan Diaz & Jonah Bride, LHP Hogan Harris & RHP Adrian Martinez optioned to LV, OF Lawrence Butler optioned to MID… https://t.co/joKXkyUAPy— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) March 23, 2023
Perez an Opening Day roster possibility per Kotsay.
Catcher Carlos Perez, signed to a minor-league deal a few days ago, is the backup for tonight's game in Surprise. Asked if Perez could open as the A's backup, Kotsay said they will "see where he’s at and see how fast we can accelerate it. But yeah there’s a chance."— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 23, 2023
Drew Rucinski (hamstring tightness) threw on flat ground today. Mark Kotsay said the A's are "going to allow this thing to play itself out and we’re hopeful that it’s resolved prior to Opening Day."— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 23, 2023
I know I threw up a little..
John Fisher making a $62 million profit with the A's last season is nauseating.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) March 23, 2023
A barrier broken.
. @_oliviapichardo made history Friday by becoming the first woman to appear in an NCAA Division I baseball game when she pinch-hit for @BrownU_baseball. The helmet she wore will become a part of the Museum’s collection in Cooperstown. (Photo courtesy Brown Athletics) pic.twitter.com/1DvwiXCo9I— National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ⚾ (@baseballhall) March 23, 2023