The numerically inclined Jayson Stark of ESPN.com had a great stat in his recent column.
The Yankees stole 139 bases in 2006. They had 123 last season. They’re on a pace to steal 56 this season. It would be the biggest single-season dropoff in franchise history.
To add to Stark’s research, the Yankees were 140 of 163 last season (.858). They’re 16 of 27 (.432) this season.
So what’s up? It’s pretty simple. Under Joe Torre, the Yankees used the stolen base to build on leads. So far this season, the Yankees haven’t had many leads. Joe Girardi would probably like to be more aggressive but has lacked the opportunities.
It also hasn’t helped that two of their best base stealers, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, have had leg injuries. Johnny Damon doesn’t run much either, but that has more to do with his OBP than anything else. Bobby Abreu used to run more. Maybe somebody told him there was a wall near second