Dodgers News: Freddie Freeman Wants Shohei Ohtani To Be Aggressive Stealing Bases

After going hitless against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, Shohei Ohtani was back in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup for a second consecutive Cactus League game.

The two-way star continued his torrid start by reaching base safely in all three plate appearances against the Chicago White Sox. Ohtani also made things happen with his legs by stealing a base and advancing to second on a sacrifice fly by Freddie Freeman.

There is a belief that Ohtani will be more aggressive on the basepaths this season since he does not have to pitch. The 29-year-old has always been an above-average baserunner with plus speed and stole 20 bases with the Angels last year.

Freeman, who will hit behind Ohtani more often than not, wants the two-time American League MVP Award winner to steal as many bases as he can, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“I’ll take every time. Every time he goes, I’ll take the pitch,” Freeman said. “He asked me if there were any counts or anything (when he wouldn’t want Ohtani to run), I said, ‘No, go for it.’ I want him in scoring position. I hope he steals 100.”

Ohtani had asked Freeman if there were times when he didn’t want him to steal in order to keep the right side of the infield open. To Freeman’s credit, he is more than open to letting Ohtani run early in the count, even if it slightly alters his approach at the plate.

The Dodgers should score a lot of runs this season with the top of their lineup, and having a stolen base element could improve that even further.

Ohtani is expected to play in the majority of the Dodgers’ remaining Cactus Leagues as he continues working toward his goal of reaching 50 at-bats before the start of the regular season.

Freddie Freeman comfortable hitting behind Shohei Ohtani

Freeman has spent the bulk of his first two seasons with the Dodgers batting second in the lineup, but is not concerned about potentially hitting third this year.

“I’ve hit both, so it doesn’t really bother me where I hit,” Freeman said. “I think you can ask all of us, one through three, four, five, it doesn’t matter. It’s just trying to get the best out of everyone else in the lineup and where we’re at.

“I think collectively, we have nine guys that could hit one, two or three on our team. But I think we’re kind of set on something right now, so we’ll see how it goes.”

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