You might think that there are no categories the Dodgers lead the league in. However, if you thought that you would be wrong. The Dodgers do lead the league in something, and no I am not talking about most blown saves, or most runners left stranded.
The Dodgers actually lead the league in most runners caught stealing. Preventing the running game may not seem like a very flashy or exciting stat, but trust me, preventing the running game is quite sexy.
I am sure we can all remember, the pre A.J. Ellis days and the post Russell Martin time period before Ellis and Tim Federowicz took over behind the plate. Back in those days the Dodger catchers were a bunch of no-arms. They regularly threw balls into center field, as if second base had been moved. Their caught stealing percentages were in the teens, and every time they threw to a base, we cringed. Yes, those were fun times weren’t they?
Those days are long gone, and we no longer have to worry about opposing teams stealing bases on us anymore. Nope. Not anymore because now we have two catchers with golden arms. We have A.J. Ellis, and Fedex. Both catchers have strong and accurate throwing arms.
Preventing opposing teams from stealing bases off of your pitchers is an extremely important yet overlooked aspect of the game. Nobody really talks about it, but it’s something that can really help your team prevent runs. Run prevention is key, but there are different ways to do that. A big part of the game is preventing other teams from taking or stealing extra bases. It’s simple, the more you keep opposing base runners at their stations, the less likely they will score. Each team must have two catchers that can throw out runners trying to steal. If not, then the league will run wild on you.
Well, the Dodgers lead the league in runners caught stealing. The Dodger catchers have thrown out more runners on the base paths than any other team in Baseball. Of course Dodger pitchers have done a great job holding runners on, but the backstops are the ones who make things happen.
With A.J. and Fedex gunning down runners all season, the Dodgers have completely shut down the opposition’s running game. A.J. has thrown out 17 of 33 runners trying to steal. That comes out to a very impressive 52% caught stealing percentage. Fedex has thrown out four out of ten runners for a 40% caught stealing. The league average is 30%. The Dodger catchers have thrown out a total of 23 runners out of 49 attempts. That’s a success rate of almost 50%. (It’s actually a 47% rate) Even the awful Ramon Hernandez threw out a couple as well. The Dodgers lead the league with an opposing steal percentage of just .531. The Dodgers 23 opposing runners caught stealing ranks them second in all of Baseball. (Miami somehow ranks number 1) Not to mention Dodger catchers have only allowed 25 wild pitches.
The Dodger catchers have done the job defensively this season, and have gone above and beyond the line of duty in 2013.