Cubs' Hoerner trying to become threat to steal

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • By stealing the first two bases of his major league career on Monday against the Tigers, Nico Hoerner took over the team lead for the Cubs. It's an area where he thinks he can improve.

    By stealing the first two bases of his major league career on Monday against the Tigers, Nico Hoerner took over the team lead for the Cubs. It's an area where he thinks he can improve.

 
 
Updated 8/25/2020 7:22 PM

The Cubs were on their way to finishing last in the National League in stolen bases for the second straight year.

But then Nico Hoerner recorded the first 2 stolen bases of his career on Monday against Detroit. He quickly became the Cubs' team leader in the category and also lifted the team out of last place.

 

Heading into Tuesdays action, the Cubs have one more stolen base than St. Louis, but the Cardinals have played 11 few games, so things could change.

"It's exciting for me," Hoerner said before Tuesday's game. "It's something I'm not as good at as I can be, but I still feel like I can do well. (Third base coach) Will Venable's been a big help for me and he's a guy I trust a lot.

"It's so much more than if you're fast enough. At this level, it's picking the right spots. It is a risk when you try to steal a base, so at what point is that risk worth taking? I'm excited to keep learning about that."

As a player, Venable stole 20-plus bases four years in a row for San Diego. Last year, Javy Baez led the Cubs with 11 stolen bases. Horner talked about what he's trying to learn.

"It's just picking the spot that gives us the best chance to win," he said. "We're trying to score runs and sometimes when you're at the bottom of the lineup, you have the best hitters up while you're on base. So you're kind of already in scoring position on first base a lot of the time with the power we have.

"So I'm just picking spots and keeping that conversation going with our coaches because they know that stuff really well."

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