Manny Machado has dominated the season to date both at the plate and in the field with the glove. The numbers are so impressive that the MVP title is his to lose right now in the American League. Can he do anything wrong? His baserunning may be his only Achilles heal right now.
Last year, Manny Machado put together an impressive season with twenty stolen bases. However, this season he has been thrown out on the bases three times including last night. Last evening, Machado was caught at second base stranding a runner at third with Chris Davis at the plate. Machado has been thrown out at third base to end innings as well on April 13th and 23rd.
The baserunning doesn’t make much sense in the given situations. Machado should easily be able to score from second base with a two out running start. Common baseball rules state you should never make the first or last out at third base. The break event point for having a runner attempt a stolen base in a 75% success rate. However even with two outs, the advantage in terms of run expectancy is negligible with 2 outs.
And maybe as a team the Orioles could take some further thought about their baserunning so far in 2016. They currently rank 28th in MLB costing the team 5.1 runs to the average MLB team. Projected over the entire season, the team would be cost around 27.5 runs which would equate to about 2.75 wins.
The Orioles have never been a great baserunning team. Since 2012, they’re 24th in MLB with a loss of 14.9 runs over four seasons or on average 3.7 runs. The best teams normally see a positive value of 15 runs per season good for an extra 1.5 wins per season. It further emphasizes that speed on the bases is not as critical as most think.
However, the Orioles need to correct their recent pace on the bases. Allowing your batters more at-bats at the plate is necessary for this boom-or-bust lineup that can easily hit an XBH at any time. Allowing your power hitters to pull the ball into play with power is a much better result than getting thrown out on the bases like nincompoops.