Reds running game has been stuck in neutral to begin the 2023 season

Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl (29) rounds third base.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl (29) rounds third base. / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds have just two stolen bases on the season. Wasn't this team going to run more? Aren't the bigger bases supposed to encourage teams to increase the action on the base paths?

The Reds are 2-for-6 in stolen base tries to begin the season. Stuart Fairchild and Jonathan India are the only players o have swiped a bag so far this season. Fairchild, along with Jake Fraley, Wil Myers, and Jose Barrero have all been gunned down this season.

The Reds are off to a rather impressive start to begin the season, in part because of the long ball. But if this year's team hopes to have sustained success in 2023, they've got to start running.

Reds running game has been stuck in neutral to begin the 2023 season.

The Cincinnati Reds have speed on this year's team. The aforementioned Jake Fraley, Jonathan India, and Stuart Fairchild could all post 20-plus stolen bases if given the opportunity. TJ Friedl and Will Benson also have plenty of speed as well.

During spring training, you couldn't stop this Reds team from running. Cincinnati ranked second, behind onlny the San Francisco Giants, in stolen bases during Cactus League play. The runnin' Redlegs swiped 41 bags during the spring and were thrown out only six times.

Obviously, during exhibition play when the games don't count, teams are more apt to run. Eight players who played for the Reds while in Goodyear had multiple stolen bases during Cactus League play.

Nick Senzel is on his way back to the majors and Reds prospect Matt McLain is knocking on the door. Both players have the wheels to log multiple stolen bases in the bigs this season.

The Reds have faced two of the best when it comes to throwing out runners. Former Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart and All-Star backstop J.T. Realmuto represent two of the best behind the dish. Perhaps that's played into the hesitancy to get the run game going this early in the season.

Whatever the case may be, sooner rather than later, the Cincinnati Reds need to put the runners in motion. The Reds, surprisingly, rank 11th in the majors with 11 round trippers to begin the season. But that's not sustainable. Cincinnati will need to use their team speed in order to stay in games as the season progresses.

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