Aggressive baserunning reinforced with early drills
ST. PETERSBURG -- Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was one of four players who were out early with third-base coach Gary Pettis to work on their baserunning on Saturday. The others were Leonys Martin, Michael Choice and Jim Adduci.
Pettis is the Rangers' baserunning instructor, and manager Ron Washington wanted all four to get a reminder about the need for aggressive baserunning. Washington wanted Choo in particular to understand that the Rangers are known for their aggressive baserunning. Washington said there were a few times in the first four games Choo missed some opportunities to take an extra base.
"We've just got to keep pounding it into them, we're not worried about them getting picked off or thrown out," Washington said. "We want them to be aggressive. I don't want them playing scared baseball. We don't play scared."
Martin had the Rangers' only stolen base through the first four games. Choo has 96 stolen bases over the last five years, including 20 with the Reds last season. Choice has average speed and never had more than nine steals in the Minors. But Washington said Choice could steal 10-15 in the Majors once he learns to get good leads and read pitchers.