In the past three seasons, he has surrendered of 14 steals in 23 attempts.Not every pitcher is as good as Strasburg at slowing a running game, of course.
But players and their bosses don't seem as concerned about this anymore, in the college game as well as MLB. If the best method for slowing a base stealer is to throw to first base over and over and over -- wearing out the runner physically and mentally -- they will do that, pace of play be damned.
Pitchers will step off, they will look over, or maybe they'll just hold the ball, doing what they can to disrupt the base runner."If you've make up your mind you're going to stop a baserunner from going," one evaluator said, "you can do that, with only a few exceptions, like Billy [Hamilton]."6.
Henderson was fast and powerful in how he took bases, slamming headfirst into bases -- and wayward fielders -- like a linebacker, and undoubtedly, there were times in Henderson's career when he would come off the bag as he zoomed over it.
You cannot do that anymore because of the managerial challenges and the many camera angles on slow-motion replay.
But the change is not only about the focus on the hitters -- it's also in the strategy used when there's a baserunner at first base."I don't think these [players] even want someone running on the bases ahead of them," one evaluator said.
"I think their feeling is, you get on base and I'll go deep and drive you in."In other words: It's easier for a hitter to focus on clubbing the ball if they don't have to concern themselves with giving a runner at first an opportunity to steal a base, or be distracted by the movement of the baserunner.
Altuve's moneymakers are his hands and wrists; he needs to do what he can to keep that part of his body healthy.
The same is true for Mike Trout and Carlos Correa, who both tore thumbs running last year and missed many weeks.
The slide step and streamlined deliveries: As pitchers work to make their mechanics more efficient, with less margin for error, some have refined their deliveries -- such as Stephen Strasburg, who pitches without a windup even when there are not runners on base.