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  1. He isn’t tagging up?

    Comment by Matt Lentzner — July 17, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  2. I’m not sure. I know the Reds radio guys have made a big deal about the Reds as a whole being among the best in the league at taking extra bases, especially earlier in the season. I’m not sure if that is a “team-wide philosophy” or if Bruce is skewing the numbers. In any case, it doesn’t explain why he’s not better about taking the extra base on outs.

    What about park effects though? GABP is small. Perhaps the kinds of long fly balls that runners tend to advance on are home runs in their home park?

    Comment by badenjr — July 17, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  3. Diddnt you see Brandon Phillips Mic’d up in the ASG when Rolen took the extra base? Phillips said “Thats what we do in Cincinnati! We go first to third!”

    must be a team philosophy :)

    Comment by Carl R — July 17, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  4. At the expense of being a nit-picking asshole:

    “Incredulously Bruce only ranks fourth in the majors…” is a misuse of “incredulously.”

    “Incredulously” describes a person’s attitude, not an event toward which they have an attitude. “Incredibly” is closer to what you’re looking for.

    Incredible events merit incredulity.

    Comment by philosofool — July 17, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

  5. U put the dic in dictionary.

    Comment by yep — July 17, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  6. I would say it definitely is a team philosophy to take the extra base. I also think the difference between taking the extra base on hits vs. outs is probably still a sample size issue. A half-season’s worth of data is small enough for there to be weird stuff happening. Just thinking off the top of my head, there have been plenty of times guys have been on 2nd or 3rd needing to be sac’d over and the batter didn’t get it done, usually by hitting a pop fly to shallow.

    Comment by nycredsfan — July 17, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  7. It may be partly that they aren’t letting him tag up. If they perceive him as not being the greatest base runner, they will put up the stop sign when he otherwise would have made it.

    After all, nothing is ever Jay Bruce’s fault, so we might as well pin this on the third base coach.

    Comment by Christian — July 17, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

  8. What? How would that make him look like a good base runner?

    Comment by Jason461 — July 17, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

  9. It’s worth noting that the BABIP change is likely not ridiculous. His BABIP was ABSURDLY low last year. He was due for a major turn around there.

    Also, based on everything I’ve seen as a Reds fan, taking the extra base is a team philosophy.

    Comment by Jason461 — July 17, 2010 @ 8:01 pm


    usage Sense 2 (using the word to mean “incredible”) was revived in the 20th century after a couple of centuries of disuse. Although it is a sense with good literary precedent—among others Shakespeare used it—many people think it is a result of confusion with incredible, which is still the usual word in this sen

    Comment by BB — July 17, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

  11. “10.2% more of Bruce’s balls in play are turning into hits.” Not exactly:

    Bruce’s BABIB in 2009: 0.221
    Bruce’s BABIB in 2010: 0.323

    0.323 – 0.221 = 0.102 = 10.2 PERCENTAGE POINT increase

    (0.323 – 0.221) / 0.221 = 0.462 = 46.2 PERCENT increase.

    Sorry to be nit-picky, but there is a difference. And if you thought 10.2 percent was a lot, then 46.2 should blow you out of the water. Each of Bruce’s balls in play is nearly half again as likely to land for a hit this year compared to last year. Not bad.

    Comment by notdissertating — July 17, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

  12. Actually, I think he was right in the first place. It’s a semantic thing, but 10.2 percent more of the BALLS IN PLAY are turning into hits. If you wanted to, you could say that his BABIP increased by 46.2 percent.

    Comment by Jason461 — July 17, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

  13. It’s 10.02%, not 10.2%, just fyi. :)

    Comment by jaremy — July 17, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

  14. It’s much easier to go from first to third when a ball is hit to right field, especially if it’s a bloop from a contact hitter. Granted, Drew Stubbs, who normally hits right behind Bruce, is by no means a contact hitter. However, behind Stubbs is either going to be Ryan Hanigan or Ramon Hernandez, who are both contact hitters that love to hit to the opposite field. In fact, the entire Reds team just happens to be really good at playing small ball and hitting the ball the other way when the opportunity calls for it. I think a lot more of the Reds’ success can be attributed to their smart base-running than most publications are willing to recognize. This article might just be the tip of the iceberg.

    Comment by Steve Walls — July 17, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

  15. It would make him look bad at tagging up. Seeing as they wouldn’t be letting him tag up.

    Going first to third involves picking up the ball yourself more often than not, whereas on a sac fly you are sitting on third waiting for the “go” from the third base coach.

    Comment by Christian — July 17, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

  16. Christian, to your second comment:

    In my coaching experience(albeit not MLB caliber, of course), the runner on third is responsible for tagging up when he sees fit.

    The idea is that it takes a fraction of a second for the coach to see the catch, say “Go!”, the player to hear that, and then react. As I’ve seen it done, the player simply judges his speed and the depth of the ball and tags as soon as he sees the ball hit the glove.

    While I don’t know what the Reds do, obviously, I’m willing to bet the same.

    If anything, this appears to just be an indication that Bruce isn’t very confident in his speed. Not to mention, there are a number of strong armed right and center fielders in his division

    Comment by joshamaral — July 18, 2010 @ 1:31 am

  17. Small sample size and variance should almost certainly be part of the explanation, here. According the Baseball Reference Bruce has been on first when a single or double has been hit 20 times and on second when a single has been hit 13 times. So we’re talking about only 33 instances where the extra base is even going to come into play. He took that extra base 23 times which gets us that 70% number but how many of those times weren’t a measure of skill but were balls that any runner would have advanced on? I’m not saying that he’s not a skilled baserunner but with such a small sample size the normal variance that could be in play could easily account for the large percentage.

    Comment by Aaron Murray — July 18, 2010 @ 8:12 am

  18. Philosofool was simply discussing the intricacies of the language, not trying to pick on Anderson.

    Oh, and you have two spelling mistakes in your post, yep.

    Comment by Aaron Murray — July 18, 2010 @ 8:14 am

  19. There are factors beyond a baserunner’s control that can affect his taking the extra base on a hit:
    1. Where it’s hit- all things being equal there’s a better chance on going 1st to 3rd on a hit to right than to left. And on one in the gap than on one hit directly at.
    2. How deep the outfielders are playing- the deeper they’re playing the longer the required throw is.
    3. How hard the ball is hit- a harder hit ball or liner gets to the outfield faster than a groundball hit does.
    4. The number of outs- you generally get a better jump with 2 outs.
    5. The size of the park- Outfielders in general have to play deeper at Coors than at Wrigley for example; which reverts back to number 2.
    6. The hitter’s ability to turn a long single into a double-if the hitter is good at that then that reduces the number of singles the runner is advancing on.

    Comment by LVW — July 18, 2010 @ 11:48 am

  20. Well with his LD% jumping some ~7% from last year, the BABIP increase seems appropriate.

    Comment by Luke — July 18, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

  21. To add on to the Hernandez/Hanigan thing: Both those guys are slow. So is it possible that Bruce gets credit for advancing an “extra” base on the catchers’ “long singles,” when he wouldn’t get the same credit if, for example, Stubbs was doubling on the same ball?

    Comment by Chris — July 18, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  22. This is the type of situation where guys like Keith Hernandez earned reputations as being good baserunners without being speedsters.

    Others have made good points on aspects that could create the appearance if being a smart baserunner, when the actual situation is that the average runner would advance on those times.

    2 things from a former player (a pitcher that would be used as late-game runner and right field defensive sub) …

    (1) Runners at 3rd don’t wait for a “go” from the coach, nor do they wait to see the ball in the glove. They anticipate the timing of the catch. It works out because once the body gets ready to move, the actual catch is made.

    (2) The easiest balls to advance first to third are soft liners over the 2B. They are easy to read and the runner on 1st has a great view. You sometimes have to hesitate on liners, but on ground balls to the right side, you’re running like mad trying to take away a force at 2B and this is where the 3rd base coach comes into play. Ground balls up the middle are even better. The runner gets a great jump, and he can see everything (ball and CF) right in front of him. The only time a runner might not advance is if the CF was shading toward RF and was charging hard with his momentum going toward 3B. Any time the OF’s mo is taking him “away from the play” , the runner will go.

    One of the little things worth watching is how a RF will trot after a base hit in front of him, baiting the runner to try and advance. I’ve seen younger Vlad and JUpton do this. It works because you can either throw the guy out at 3rd or hit the cutoff man who can try and catch the trail runner rounding the bag with 1B trailing him.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 18, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

  23. I’m not really familiar with the stats, but if the added value is in scoring from second and the negative value is in not tagging from second to third, it might just be that he’s more aggressive on questionable fly balls/pop-ups to the outfield; e.g. not coming back to tag up on balls that may or may not be caught.

    This would make sense to me since it would seem that the decision to tag from third is generally pretty straight forward.

    Comment by John — July 18, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

  24. I also want to add that Dusty loves to hit-and-run. It wouldn’t surprised me if he called for a hit-and-run at a higher rate than any other manager in baseball.

    Comment by Steve Walls — July 19, 2010 @ 11:59 am

  25. To reference the early part of the article, does anyone else legitimately believe that Bruce is “on the right track towards projected stardom” based on this year’s numbers? A 0.334 wOBA does not get me THAT excited. Where is the 0.400 wOBA he put up as he tore through every level of the minors? With this being his 3rd year at the show, I really expected he would at least have made a more significant improvement (~15%+) in wOBA versus his ’08 season.

    Comment by Sir Larry — July 19, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

  26. “incredible” as in “hard to believe”, though, right?

    Comment by Bud — July 19, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

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