One of the first announcements the Giants made at the conclusion of the 2016 season was the firings of first and third base coaches Roberto Kelly and Bill Hayes.
Manager Bruce Bochy detailed his frustrations with the team’s base running last year, when discussing new third base coach Phil Nevin on KNBR Thursday morning. Bochy believes Nevin’s presence will help get San Francisco back on track in an area where they were sorely lacking.
“Ex-player of mine — really good baseball mind,” Bochy said of Nevin. “He went down and managed and grinded in the minor leagues. As a player he always was asking questions, he always pays attention to detail and he’s really done a great job with the baserunners, spending time with them on the bases…I think he’s gonna help make us a better base running club.
“That’s part of the game that’s kind’ve got lost. Last year we were awful, I’ll be honest. We’re working hard on it this spring with he and Vince Coleman in camp, it’s one of the things I talked about in the opening talk to them. Keep doing what we’ve been doing here and that’s how hard you’ve been working but one area we’ve really got to concentrate on is this baserunning and they’re doing it.”
The Giants finished 14th in stolen bases amongst Major League teams in 2016, but Bochy believes that the club’s issues on the base paths had to do with failings in multiple areas. Bochy even implied some of the base running issues last year had to do with a lack of concentration.
“Going down the line, leads and breaks, first and third, all these things,” Bochy said. “It just helps establish the brand of ball that you want to be known for. I just felt like that started to get away from us a little bit, so we want to get back to being a good hard nosed, but smart base running club.
“Lets stop getting doubled off, which happened a lot last year. It’s all about being in the moment when you’re on base. Not thinking about your batting average or talking to the first baseman, all these little things that can distract a base runner and there’s nothing more frustrating for a hitter that gets a base hit with two outs and the guy doesn’t get a great jump at second and doesn’t score. It’s just an area I felt we need to get better in.”
Listen to the full interview below.