Arizona Diamondbacks Editorial: Chip Hale Should Use Speed to the Team’s Advantage


The first week of the season is in the books and their is plenty to take away from the Arizona Diamondbacks first 6 games. I have learned a lot about this team.

The Diamondbacks have done a lot of things well, but one thing Manager Chip Hale needs to do more of is take advantage of his team’s speed at the top of the order.

Here is one thing I know about baseball: when your team has a ton of speed, you need to take advantage of it. The Reds are 4-2 and in first place in the N.L. Central to start the season, and Billy Hamilton‘s speed is a big part of it.

He stole 7 bases in his first four games, and he put a lot of pressure on the defense, and the opposing pitching staff. That is what speed does and it usually allows teams to manufacture more runs, and win more games.

This is what I have observed about the Diamondbacks first six games: when the Diamondbacks use their speed at the top of the order to their advantage, they have success.

The Dbacks top of the order is getting it done: Leadoff man A.J. Pollock and Ender Inciarte are a combined 14 for 44 at the plate (.318), and both players have a .375 on-base-percentage.

Both Pollock and Inciarte have a ton of speed, and if they both continue to get on base, than Hale should get aggressive and let them use their quickness to the team’s advantage.

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Last season Pollock stole 14 bases with a 1.4 wSB, and Inciarte stole 19 bases with a 2.2 wSB. wSB measures the amount of runs a player contributes to their team by stealing bases as compared to the average player.

Stealing bases in the right situations is always a good thing because it gives a team a better chance to score runs. Teams have to steal in the right situations in order for it to be effective.

If Pollock leads off with a single, and has a chance to get into scoring position with his speed for the middle of the order, than why not try?

The best example came in Saturday’s contest against the Dodgers. Pollock and Inciarte led off the inning with back to back singles. Pollock and Inciarte then stole second and third successfully thanks to a caught stealing error by Justin Turner. Pollock scored later in the inning on a Paul Goldschmidt RBI ground out.

The more opportunities the Diamondbacks give Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo to drive in runs, the better.

Under Kirk Gibson last season, the Diamondbacks didn’t take advantage of all of their opportunities to be more aggressive on the basepaths.

They were 18th in baseball with 86 stolen bases, and scored just 615 runs, good for 25th in baseball.

Run scoring and stolen bases don’t necessarily have a direct correlation, but using speed to give the Dbacks more chances to score isn’t a bad thing.

The Dbacks had a hard time manufacturing runs, and stealing bases can help with that.

Gibson didn’t do it much last season, and it has to change this season.

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