Theft now part of grand de­sign

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Pe­dro Moura pe­dro.moura@la­ Twit­ter: @pe­dro­moura

HOUS­TON — The An­gels stole 10 bases over the week­end in Hous­ton, more than any it­er­a­tion of the team had swiped in a three­game se­ries since the fran­chise’s found­ing in 1961.

Cameron May­bin stole six bases. Eric Young Jr., An­drel­ton Sim­mons, Ben Re­vere and Danny Espinosa each stole one. The record was a prod­uct of a club fo­cused on ob­tain­ing of­fense wher­ever pos­si­ble, ab­sent tra­di­tional power sources.

The An­gels are on pace to steal 137 bases this sea­son, more than the 125 they stole the last two years com­bined.

“Per­son­ally, I love it,” Young said. “We’re cre­at­ing a lot of pres­sure on the other team. There’s mul­ti­ple guys run­ning, it’s not just one per­son run­ning. We’ve got a lot of guys, and it’s go­ing to put pres­sure on the de­fense, maybe force their hand.

“They might make same er­rors. They might hang a pitch in the zone and hit­ters can take ad­van­tage of it, which we were able to do this road trip.”

Sim­mons is on pace to set a ca­reer high for steals this month. He has eight for the sea­son, two shy of the ca­reer-high 10 he stole last sea­son, his first with the An­gels.

But it is May­bin’s to­tal, in par­tic­u­lar, that’s eye-open­ing. His 19 steals in 46 games rep­re­sent a 67-steal pace over a full sea­son. May­bin, 30, en­tered 2017 av­er­ag­ing 27 steals per 162 games. Draft day

The An­gels will pick 10th over­all in the 2017 MLB draft, which be­gins Mon­day. They will also se­lect at No. 47, be­fore the third through 10th rounds oc­cur Tues­day. The re­main­ing 30 rounds will take place Wed­nes­day.

It will be Matt Swan­son’s first time su­per­vis­ing a draft. The An­gels hired him as am­a­teur scout­ing di­rec­tor last Au­gust af­ter he de­vel­oped a ster­ling rep­u­ta­tion for spot­ting tal­ent as a St. Louis Car­di­nals scout. Short hops

Right-han­der Doug Fis­ter threw 89 pitches over 52⁄3 in­nings Sun­day for triple-A Salt Lake. He walked two and struck out one. His fast­ball was most of­ten clocked at 89 mph, ac­cord­ing to an at­tendee. Fis­ter, 33, could soon be deemed ready to make a ma­jor league start. . . . Dozens of Ja­panese me­dia mem­bers at­tended the se­ries to cover the Astros’ Norichika Aoki, who is ap­proach­ing 2,000 ca­reer hits be­tween the ma­jors and Ja­pan’s Nip­pon Pro­fes­sional Base­ball.

Af­ter sit­ting at 1,998 for sev­eral days, he dou­bled and sin­gled Sun­day to reach the mark. The game was paused to honor his achieve­ment, which earned him au­to­matic in­duc­tion into the Meikyukai, a type of Hall of Fame in Ja­pan.

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