In 2013, the Boston Red Sox were one of the most successful teams in the MLB at stealing bases. It added an element of surprise to their arsenal that caught a lot of other teams off guard. It definitely played a role in Boston being able to win the World Series. This year hasn’t been even close to the same.
The Red Sox have only stolen 11 bases out of 22 attempts. That is woeful compared to last year. Recently, John Farrell has said that they may shut the running game down because it has been so bad. Boston seems to be running into outs during almost every game. That is very frustrating to watch on a regular basis.
Of course, losing Jacoby Ellsbury isn’t going to help the running game at all. You just can’t make up that sort of loss of speed on the basepaths. However, Boston does have a few players who could probably steal 20 bases a season. The problem seems to be Boston isn’t being smart on the basepaths.
You don’t have to be a speed burner to steal a base, you do need to be smart and take advantage of pitchers with slow moves to the plate. Boston did that a lot last year and that worked in their favor. They have done a lot less of that so far and it shows. Boston needs to get back to being aggressive, yet smart on the basepaths before they run into any more outs.
Boston needs to deal with the roster they have in terms of speed, but that doesn’t mean they can’t steal more bases.