Dave Roberts: Dodgers Need To ‘Get Better’ At Limiting Stolen Bases

The Los Angeles Dodgers don’t have many weaknesses when at full strength, but one area they could stand to improve in is limiting how often teams run against them.

Opposing teams so far have stolen 30 bases in 36 attempts against the Dodgers this season, with the bullpen being responsible for 17. “Yeah, we need to get better,” manager Dave Roberts said.

“You can always get better as a ballclub, but on the pitching side in particular, varying looks, time to the plate, throwing over, all that kind of stuff, we can always get better. We need to get better at that.”

Of the 30 stolen bases allowed by the Dodgers pitching staff, 18 have come from the San Diego Padres, including 10 in the final two games of the series at Dodger Stadium.

“I think if you look at what they did offensively, that was part of their plan. To be aggressive on the bases,” Roberts said. “They have some athleticism on their club, so they exploited us. It’s kind of in the bucket of we need to get better and learn from it. I think that we will.”

Roberts noted that Dodgers bullpen coach Josh Bard and assistant pitching coach Connor McGuiness have been leading the way in helping the pitching staff get better with holding baserunners.

“These guys have been good for us. I think Josh has done a great job of the culture piece of the ‘pen guys in particular,” Roberts said. “Connor McGuiness working with those guys, too. I think it’s talking about things we can clean up and get better at.

“I think Josh sees it as an opportunity for our guys to talk about how they can get better whether it’s hold running, throwing first-pitch strikes, swing and miss, talking about potentially the Reds lineup and what we expect out of those guys. All that kind of stuff.”

Dodgers get reprieve against Reds

While the Padres are the top stolen bases team this season, the Reds rank 28th in baseball. That’s brought some relief for Dodgers pitching, though the Reds did steal two bases in the series opener.

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