Farrell encourages runners to be aggressive

Farrell encourages runners to be aggressive

Farrell encourages runners to be aggressive
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Toronto manager John Farrell's approach to offense was on full display during Saturday morning's "B" game against Philadelphia.

Top outfield prospect Anthony Gose led off the game with a sharp single and promptly stole second. After advancing to third on an error, Gose came around to score on a groundout.

That's the type of activity on the basepaths Farrell would like to see from his club this season. He has spent a lot of time in Spring Training talking about about finding ways to generate runs instead of always waiting for the home run.

"There are certain guys that we've already discussed that have the green light," Farrell said. "We don't want to get in their way, particularly with Anthony. One of his real strengths is his ability to steal bases.

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"Part of his development ... in the Minor Leagues is how efficient he can become a base stealer. He has a long history of it already at an early age, so we'll continue that path with him."

Gose, who is just 20, stole 45 bases at Class A last season. Farrell won't have his speed on the Major League roster, but he will have veteran Rajai Davis and potentially outfielder Scott Podsednik at his disposal. Last year, the two combined to steal 85 bases and will have the green light.

Farrell would also like to implement the hit-and-run more frequently. In the "B" game, Farrell called for the play on three consecutive pitches while shortstop prospect Adeiny Hechavarria was at the plate. Hechavarria fouled off the first two before drawing a walk on the third pitch.

It's a strategy Farrell would like to use, especially when it's a 3-1 or 3-2 count and the bottom of the order is at the plate.

"It can work somewhat as a natural hit and run," Farrell said. "We'll allow that to happen with certain combinations at the plate. But when we get our middle of the order up, we're going to keep that runner in check not to take the bat out of the middle-of-the-order-type hitter's hands."