LAKELAND, Fla. -- Brad Ausmus has spent the early days of camp trying to instill an aggressive mentality on the basepaths for a Tigers team that didn't run much last season. Now that Spring Training games have started, he's ready to push for it.
When Grapefruit League games begin Wednesday, Tigers baserunners will have the green light to try to steal a base. All of them will have it.
"We're trying to instill some ideas, to make risk-based stealing," Ausmus said. "We're not just running to steal bases. What we're trying to do is find spots where we can steal bases successfully.
"All position players have the green light to start, so we have the ability to run right now. Clearly, that doesn't mean it's a carousel out there. It just means thinking about situations. And I'm sure as we go along, we'll take the green light away from some, and some will keep it, based on what they do. If you have the green light and you're on first base from pitch one, you're much more in tune with what's going on. You're timing the pitcher and watching the catcher, as opposed to just standing there without the green light."
The Tigers didn't try any stolen bases Tuesday against Florida Southern, understandably, but they were aggressive in seeking extra bases and running hard to first.
"The thing that stands out by far was the baserunning," Ausmus said after the 12-0 win. "It was an outstanding effort. Guys were really aggressive. Devon Travis was really aggressive on a ball in the dirt, got to second. We had guys busting hard. They were coming out of the box hard even on non-hits, which is one of the things we've been preaching. So that was good to see."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.