On Friday, Colorado Rockies 3rd base coach Stu Cole spoke with the media, including Rox Pile, about a number of things, including being more aggressive in 2020.
During the presser, Cole, who has been a player, minor league coach, minor league manager, or MLB coach for the Rockies since their inception as a franchise in 1993, discussed a number of different things, including some performances from individual players in 2020 but one of the questions he was asked was about if he thought he has been more aggressive in sending runners home this season since the season has been truncated by 102 games.
Here’s what Cole had to say:
"“Yeah, I’ve been more aggressive this year,” said Cole, “especially with the guys we have that are better baserunners, and with the shortening of the season, you try to get as many runs as you can. You want to try to get a lead, you want to try to catch up [when you’re behind in the game] because you know there’s not going to be much time for you to do that later in the season because there’s only 60 games so you want to try to be aggressive as much as possible and we stressed that to the guys in Spring Training 1 and 2. They have done their part and I’m just trying to do my part of making them be aggressive and stay aggressive.”"
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Cole also cited Rockies 1st base coach Ron Gideon in helping players with video of opposing pitchers and outfielders with their pickoff moves and outfield throwing tendencies, so that the Rockies can be more aggressive in stealing bases and going from first to third on basehits to the outfield.
The Rockies, entering Saturday, have 21 stolen bases, which is 3rd in the NL, and they have only been caught three times, which is the best in NL. Trevor Story leads the team with eight stolen bases.
Per Statcast, the Rockies have six players in the top 30 percent in sprint speed and three of those six are in the top five percent (Garrett Hampson, Sam Hilliard, and Trevor Story), which is a big factor in going from first to third on hits to the outfield.
One of those six players in the top 30 percent of sprint speed is Raimel Tapia, who has been seeing more regular playing time and he has been leading off for the Rockies. Cole said moving Tapia to the leadoff spot has “helped him develop” because he gets more at-bats and he also has been more aggressive on the basepaths since he has got on more.
The Rockies will look to defeat the San Diego Padres at 6:10 p.m. (Mountain time) at Coors Field in order to gain a game on the Padres, who are now three games ahead of the Rockies for second place in the NL West race.