Orioles get off to a good start in stolen base and caught stealing percentage

Buck Showalter often talks about playing the game 90 feet at a time. Try not to give up the extra base with mistakes in the field and advance runners and get that extra base when you can when batting.

In one aspect of the game, the Orioles are doing very well at this early stage. They rank first in the American League in caught stealing percentage and the O’s are second in stolen base percentage.

AL leaders in caught stealing percentage as of Monday:

.833 - Orioles (5-for-6)
.500 - Texas (2-for-4)
.429 - Houston (3-for-7)

When you consider the league average right now is throwing out 24 percent of would-be base-stealers, the Orioles are quite ahead of the game with Matt Wieters getting four of five and Taylor Teagarden one of one.

Now for an area improved over 2012: Last season, the Orioles ranked last in the league in both steals (58) and stolen-base percentage (67.0).

This season, the Orioles are tied for second, stealing six of seven so far for a percentage of 86.0. Toronto is the only club in the league that ranks better at a perfect 11-for-11.

The Orioles don’t figure to be a big base-stealing team this season but they have a few players that could slightly upgrade this area. So far, Alexi Casilla and Nate McLouth are each 2-for-2, Brian Roberts and Adam Jones are both 1-for-1 and Nolan Reimold is 0-for-1.

It will be interesting to see how it looks when Casilla bats ninth and McLouth first. They could create some havoc on the bases batting back-to-back when the lineup turns over.

Casilla stole 21 of 22 bases last season and has a career 89 percent success rate. McLouth went 12-for-13 for the 2012 Orioles and has an 86 percent success rate.

This may be an area where the Orioles can add some life to their offense and not rely on the home runs to provide so much.

Avery honors Jackie: On Jackie Robinson Day, Xavier Avery of the Double-A Bowie Baysox wore No. 42 last night. Here is what Avery said about donning that jersey number:

“It kind of spooked me a little bit. After seeing the movie last night (Sunday) and with the celebration going on, stepping on the field I got a little bit nervous. I felt like he was looking down on me from heaven and I didn’t want to let him down.”

The No. 42 jersey worn by Avery will be auctioned off with the proceeds donated to charity. Check www.baysox.com for more information about the date and details of the auction.

Bowie won last night’s game 5-4 over Erie behind a 14-hit attack. Caleb Joseph went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. Joseph is batting .313 with two homers and 15 RBIs on the year. He has seven RBIs over the last three games and has driven in at least one run over the last seven games.

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