Now Commenting On:

Manuel hesitates to use pitchers as pinch-runners

Manuel hesitates to use pitchers as pinch-runners play video for Manuel hesitates to use pitchers as pinch-runners

PHILADELPHIA -- Twice this season, Charlie Manuel has used a pitcher as a pinch-runner in crucial, late-inning situations: first Cliff Lee on May 19, and then Kyle Kendrick on Saturday. Both times, the pitcher has been picked off.

The Phillies manager said Sunday it's not a strategy he likes to use, but he noted that sometimes there isn't much choice.

"I don't like to use a pitcher to pinch-run," Manuel said. "The danger of it is because if they get any kind of a lead at all, they're not used to having to go back to first base. They're not used to a pitcher trying to pick them off. They're not used to getting leads and they don't know how much [of a] lead to get.

"And they don't slide a whole lot. That's a big thing, too. Therefore, I have a hard time using them. But when you get into a pickle like we were in [Saturday], that's something you have to learn from ... . The ones that become decent baserunners are the ones that don't even get a lead, because they don't even draw throws. The pitchers and the catchers, they think if a pitcher is down there running, they don't have to hold him on or throw down there. But you see one getting a lead, there's a good chance you can pick him off. I've always thought that."

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español