Uncommon Thievery: Easy and Hard to Steal on

Many wrote in after last week's column looking for some more data on matchups for stolen bases. Ask and ye shall receive. What follows is a list of last year's leaders in stolen bases allowed. These are pitchers who, for whatever the reason, allow a ton of stolen bases. They might be slow to the plate (1.5 seconds or more), or they might be susceptible to big jumps by not varying their looks with runners on base. Either way, they were favorable matchups in 2006, and figure to be favorable matchups this season as well:

Some of you might have been confused by the list of pitchers I deemed "tough to steal on" last week. How can I say they are hard to steal on if they haven't even had anyone attempt a steal yet? But that's the whole point. Pitchers who deny attempts aren't going to give up many swipes. Take Carlos Zambrano for example. So far this season he has allowed 46 base runners to reach first base (1B+BB+HBP), and not one of them has had the guts to run on him because he's so quick to the plate. It's the whole stopwatch thing I was talking about last week. Players and coaches know that Zambrano is ultra quick to the plate, and they realize that it's too risky to try to run on him. With that in mind, here are the pitchers that were stingy on swipes in 2006: