26 May 2011
Expectations for the Arizona Diamondbacks were quite low heading into the 2011 season, and the first 49 games have been a pleasant surprise for most fans, as the team is now above .500 at 25-24 and has moved into second place in the NL West. But even fans who follow the Diamondbacks closely are probably a little surprised that the team is ranked second in all of Major League Baseball in fewest stolen bases allowed.
Fewest Stolen Bases Allowed (through games of May 25, 2011)
|3||St. Louis Cardinals||20||10||33.3%|
Much has been said about Miguel Montero's throwing problems this year, as he already has 8 errors. But teams are still not running on the Diamondbacks very much - 16/22 against Montero, and 3/6 against backup Henry Blanco. The 19 SB in 49 games (0.39/Game) is a huge improvement from 2010, when the team allowed ranked #22 in MLB with 115 SB allowed (0.71/Game).
|1||New York Mets||51||26||33.8%|
|2||St. Louis Cardinals||53||38||41.8%|
|3||Toronto Blue Jays||69||35||33.7%|
One reason for the improvement has been Henry Blanco, who is one of the best catchers in baseball at slowing down the running game, with a career CS% of 43%. But the coaching staff also deserves a lot of credit. During Spring Training, manager Kirk Gibson and former Diamondbacks' pitchers Mike Fetters and Ed Vosberg worked extensively with the pitching staff on holding runners close. It looks like this work has really paid off.