The 2012 St. Louis Cardinals weren’t exactly the Running Redbirds of old, but showed a slightly greater propensity to steal bases than in recent seasons.
They improved in this area despite the loss of Albert Pujols, the somewhat surprising club leader in base stealing in two of the previous three years. 2011 team steals leader Tyler Greene was dealt away during 2012.
Jay was joined by three teammates with double digit steal totals in 2012 – Carlos Beltran (13 of 19), Yadier Molina (12 of 15) and Rafael Furcal (12 of 16). The team hasn’t had that many different players with at least 10 steals since 2005. Greene just missed joining them, having stolen nine bases in 11 attempts before his trade to Houston.
In terms of success in stealing, the 2012 club logged a 71.1 percent rate. That is the best since the 2003 Cardinals were successful 71.9 percent of the time.
Retired Cardinals manager Tony La Russa may have taken a bad rap regarding the apparent disdain for the stolen base shown by his final clubs. It may be more a matter of available personnel. After all, eight of his first 10 Cardinals teams (1996-2005) finished in the top half of the National League in steals.
In the seven years since 2005, however, the Cardinals have not once ended among the NL’s top seven teams in stolen bases – or even the top 10, for that matter. Even with 91 steals, the 2012 Cardinals ranked just 13th in the NL. Still, that represents considerable improvement over their dead-last standing in 2011.
|Year||# StL steals||NL rank of 16||# players > 9||StL leader||# steals||# StL caught||StL success|
|2001||91||7||5||Fernando Vina/Edgar Renteria||17||35||72.2%|
|1998||133||4||4||Delino DeShields/Ray Lankford||26||41||76.4%|