SAN DIEGO -- The Padres were aggressive on the basepaths last season, with positive results. They swiped 155 and were caught just 46 times.
In this very early season, the percentage isn't as good. The Padres entered play Saturday 3-for-7 in steals, but that's mostly due to getting caught three times by the Rockies on Friday.
The situation must be right to gamble on stealing a base -- even with speedy weapons like outfielder Will Venable and a National League stolen-base champ in shortstop Everth Cabrera -- but the Padres have to stay more aggressive than most with an offense that's struggled early on.
"We have to push things a bit, especially with where our offense is right now," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I don't have a problem with our basestealers or their approach. That's fine. But we also have a reputation for being aggressive on the basepaths, especially with certain guys, so the opposition is on alert.
"We've had several close plays and been called out, but we have to keep playing that way. We can't wait for home runs or the big inning. We have to push that and make sure that teams are aware of our speed and our aggressiveness."
Cabrera was caught stealing third for the third out of the third inning with the Padres trailing 5-2 in an eventual 9-5 loss on Saturday.
Scott Bair is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less