Jays have a plan for stealing bases

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:51 PM ET

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Green, yellow, red.

No, it’s not a stoplight drill for school kids, but the colour scheme that manager John Farrell has devised for his position players when it comes to stealing bases.

The running game on the offensive side will be controlled by Farrell. A player with a green light can run at will; a player with a yellow light first needs to get the go-ahead from Farrell while the guys tagged red will not run at all with the odd exception of perhaps being on the go from first to second on a 3-2 pitch to the batter at the plate.

A player who successfully steals a base will get a gold star beside his name on a big board in the manager’s office.

OK, that part isn’t true but the rest is. It’s a system that is almost universal in the big leagues.

“There’s a few guys (with the green light),” Farrell said. “I’m not going to reveal that. What we’ve done is categorize guys in three categories, green, yellow and red. The yellow is guys we feel have the capability of stealing bases and they are going to be more situational.”

A look at the roster shows that the green light will go to Rajai Davis, Corey Patterson and likely Mike McCoy and perhaps Travis Snider. The yellow light will have Aaron Hill, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Juan Rivera, John McDonald and Yunel Escobar. The red team will have Jose Molina, J.P. Arencibia and probably Adam Lind.

The Jays last year hardly ran at all with the departed Fred Lewis their top base stealing threat with 17. No other player hit double figures.

Is Farrell pushing the envelope a bit, being a little more risky by asking certain players to run?

“Possibly, because there’s a little bit more overall emphasis on that approach on the basepaths,” he said. “The guys that you might be referring to (the yellows), I think that’s where we’re looking to be more opportunistic — a look to steal third base or in some cases run some double steals.”


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