LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers stole 17 bases in each of the previous two Spring Trainings. They haven't stolen 20 bases in a spring since 2006, their first under Jim Leyland. They're on a pace to blow past that standard with little trouble.
With their penchant for double steals recently, they're getting two-for-one specials.
When Don Kelly and Daniel Fields took third and second base, respectively, during the second inning on Saturday against the Mets, it was Detroit's third double steal in eight days. It pushed the Tigers' steals total to 15 in just 10 games, tied for most in the Majors entering play on Saturday evening.
The green light manager Brad Ausmus allowed every player on the team going into Grapefruit League play a week and a half ago continues to be in effect. It'll slow at some point this spring, as Ausmus starts reading what he's watching and puts on red lights. Right now, however, he's trying to build the mentality.
The odd part about Detroit's total is that none of its players have swiped more than two. Rajai Davis, predictably, is tied for the team lead, but he's sharing it with Kelly, Steve Lombardozzi, Daniel Fields and Nick Castellanos.
Both of Lombardozzi's stolen bases have come on a double steal, neither of them called. Kelly, too, took third on his own, with Fields following.
"[Lombardozzi] seems to have a good feel for it," Ausmus said. "That's what we had heard about him coming from Washington. He's kind of baseball rat, and I say that in a good way."