Tony La Russa is taking his anger out on Edwin Jackson

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Most eyes were on this afternoon’s Cardinals-Brewers game to see if there would be violence and mayhem between the two teams.  So far none between them. But Edwin Jackson had best get a restraining order against Casey McGehee and Tony La Russa, because they’re both beating the crap out of him.

As I type, the game is still going on. And Jackson is still pitching despite having given up ten runs on 14 hits in just under seven innings. He has allowed four homers in all, three of which have come off the bat of McGehee.  He has thrown 117 pitches, and there is still no sign that the La Russa is going to come from the dugout to rescue him.

Can someone please tell me what the point of having eleventeen relief pitchers on a roster is if you have no intention of using him?  Or, for that matter, why Tony La Russa forced a trade of his promising center fielder a few days ago, only to abuse the living hell out of the pitcher he got in return?

The Nats want Trea Turner to attempt 75-80 stolen bases this year

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When it comes to cliche spring training stories, we talk a lot about “Best Shape of His Life.” Sometimes we talk about the “[Pitcher] has been working on a changeup” or “[Hitter] has made an adjustment to his swing” stories too. Then there’s the “we’re really going to focus on fundamentals” quotes managers love to give in February and March. They’re evergreens. 

Another one in that category is the “we’re going to run more” or “we plan to be aggressive on the base paths this year.” You hear that from at least one or two managers every spring. I imagine because, like the fundamentals one, it deals with something over which they have at least some moderate control. It’s a good quote.

We’re hearing it from Nats training camp this year with respect to one particularly speedy player in Trea Turner. From Mark Zuckerman at MASN:

Davey Martinez called Trea Turner into his office this week and told the speedy shortstop he wants him to attempt more stolen bases this season. How many? Let’s just say even the ultra-aggressive Turner was taken aback.

“Yeah, he gave me a number,” Turner said. “And I was like: ‘Wow, all right.’”

Martinez later revealed to assembled reporters that he thinks if Turner “attempts 75-80, we’ll be in great shape.”

Turner led the National League with 43 stolen bases on 52 attempts in 2018. The year before he attempted 54, which was his career high. Only only four players have attempted 80 or more stolen bases in the past ten years, so yes, 75-80 would be quite the escalation.

Which is not to say it’s silly. On a very basic level, yeah, if he is stealing bases more often, even without changing his basic approach, the Nats WILL be in great shape because it’ll likely mean that he’s on base more, and that’s good. If it’s merely a matter of him being more aggressive in the same number of times on base, well, let me know, but I’m not holding my breath.

I guess it’s nice to have goals, though.