The Baltimore Orioles, while inconsistent at times, have one of the best offenses in all of Major League Baseball, but one thing that has been consistent all year long is their unwillingness to steal a base as they have come few and far between.
The O's are third in the league in average, third in home runs, 12th in runs, and third in average with runners in scoring position, but are dead last in stolen bases.
Baltimore has 19 stolen bases this season, yes 19. In 2013, the Orioles swiped 79 bags, which ranked 16 in all of baseball, but with the departures of two of their top three base stealers in Nate McLouth and Alexi Casilla (Casilla is with AAA Norfolk Tides), the Birds have severely dropped in the stolen base department.
Their 19 stolen bases this year are eight fewer than the next to last ranked team, and there are six players in Major League Baseball that have more stolen bases by themselves than the Orioles do as a team this season.
Thus far in 2014, their have been just eight players to record a stolen base for the Orioles with David Lough leading the way with five. Lough hasn't stolen a base since May 25 and two of his five stolen bases came in one game on April 24 against the Toronto Blue Jays.
When you look at their success rate, it is probably a good thing that the Orioles are not trying to run more as they have been caught stealing nine times for a success rate of 68%. Not only are the O's 19 stolen bases the fewest in all of baseball, but their 68% success rate is the sixth worst in the bigs.
Nelson Cruz, certainly not known for his speed, is an underrated base runner, but his knack for picking the right time to try and steal a base has not shined this season as he has one stolen base and has been caught four times.
Look, the art of the stolen base is a dying art in the current state of baseball with so many statistics and sabremetrics being analyzed and used for shifts, but for a team to only have 19 stolen bases through 75 games is astonishingly low. When you live and die by the long ball, it is unfortunate that you do not have the ability to utilize the stolen base when the home runs just arn't coming and you need to manufacture some runs.
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