It seems like there have been daily reports out of major league camp about how the Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers are focusing more on controlling the running game this year. After every caught stealing or pick off, the topic is brought up, and the answer usually given is that the importance of keeping runners in check has been stressed over and over to the pitchers.
In 2012 we saw the Pirates go a little overboard with their focus of executing pitches. They totally ignored the running game, allowing runners to steal at-will. Down in the minors, that kind of thing was going on before the 2012 season came around. As an example, when people were alarmed at the low caught stealing numbers from Tony Sanchez in 2011, it was hard to see how most of that was placed on the pitchers, and not as much on Sanchez. But what we saw in Pittsburgh in 2012 was happening in the minors the last few years. The focus was only on the guy at the plate, with no focus on the runner on base.
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.