The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Not exactly Runnin’ Redbirds, but improvement in 2012

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.

Centerfielder Jon Jay led the 2012 club with 19 stolen bases in 26 attempts. That is the most by a Cardinal in the last four seasons – since Cesar Izturis swiped 24 bags in 2008.

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.

As a team, the 2012 Cardinals’ total of 91 was their greatest since the Tony Womack (26) and Reggie Sanders (21) –led Cards of 2004.

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
2012 91 13 4 Jon Jay 19 37 71.1%
2011 57 16 1 Tyler Greene 11 39 59.4%
2010 79 13 3 Albert Pujols 14 41 65.8%
2009 75 11 2 Albert Pujols 16 31 70.8%
2008 73 12 1 Cesar Izturis 24 32 69.5%
2007 56 15 1 David Eckstein 10 33 62.9%
2006 59 14 1 So Taguchi 11 32 64.8%
2005 83 7 5 Albert Pujols 16 36 69.7%
2004 111 2 3 Tony Womack 26 47 70.3%
2003 82 5 2 Edgar Renteria 34 32 71.9%
2002 86 10 3 Edgar Renteria 22 42 67.2%
2001 91 7 5 Fernando Vina/Edgar Renteria 17 35 72.2%
2000 87 11 4 Edgar Renteria 21 51 63.0%
1999 134 8 5 Edgar Renteria 37 48 73.6%
1998 133 4 4 Delino DeShields/Ray Lankford 26 41 76.4%
1997 164 3 4 Delino DeShields 55 60 73.2%
1996 149 4 5 Ray Lankford 35 58 72.0%

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8 Responses to “Not exactly Runnin’ Redbirds, but improvement in 2012”

  1. blingboy says:

    The fact that Schmalbert and Yadi can steal bases proves its not just about speed.

  2. friendmouse says:

    55 steals by Delino DeShields in ’97? WOW! That seems like a lifetime ago…before PEDS were in the forefront; before Big Mac’s history-making; before Pujols. Just looking, but we had Fernando Valenzuela (briefly) on the team. McGwire only played in 51 games, but had 17 singles, 3 doubles, and 24 HRs; drove in 42 runs, 2 SBs, and 61 Ks, OPS of 1.095. Wow! While I have always been a huge Cardinals fan, those years (mid-90′s) are so foggy in my memory banks. Thanks for your great work…as always!!

  3. blingboy says:

    I’m trying to cheer myself up

    Jay
    Wang/MCarp
    Taveras/Beltran
    Holliday
    Craig/Adams
    Molina
    Freese/MCarp
    Furcal/glove guy TBNL
    Waino/Carp/Jake/Garcia/Lynn/Rosenthal/Miller/Kelly

  4. blingboy says:

    Bernie thinks Taveras should skip AAA and start 2013 with the Cards in a ‘very busy 4th OF’ role. Playing all 3 positions. He notes that Jay struggles on the road. Holliday’s back would benefit from days off. Beltran . . .

    I guess ST will be interesting.

    I am willing to make a commitment. If, by the end of the season Taveras is able to move Holliday out of the 3 spot, I will ring a bell and genuflect whenever his name is mentioned. Not likely. At all. But this is happy time, so I’m making myself happy.

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