Yasmani Grandal not all to blame for opponents' steal rate

Yasmani Grandal isn't stressing about his results controlling the running game. Padres manager Bud Black isn't, either, even with all 17 runners successfully swiping bases against his rookie catcher.

It's simply not all Grandal's fault.

"Don't read too much into those stats," Black said, a day after two stolen bases led to the only runs the Astros managed off Ross Ohlendorf. "There's more to it than that. He's had some tough pitches to throw on, and he hasn't had a whole lot of cooperation from the pitchers as far as their release. There's a lot of factors that go into a caught stealing."

Those factors include how effectively a pitcher holds a runner on base, the type of pitch and its location, and cooperation with middle infielders. What Grandal can control — the mechanics affecting the strength of his throws, glove-to-glove times and accuracy — he's making progress with while learning on the job in the majors.

"His times are fine, his exchange is fine, and his hands are fine," Black said. "Long-term, he's going to be fine. You have to understand that this guy was in the 2010 draft. That's two years in pro ball. The pro game, especially at this level, is a lot different than where he was two years ago at the University of Miami.

"For him to climb this fast, you just don't see that."

And Black expects to see more progression as Grandal acclimates to the big leagues. To that end, Grandal was working on his mechanics before Monday's game, specifically keeping his left knee and foot and head in line on throws to second base as opposed to drifting toward third.

"It's working out so far," Grandal said. "I was pretty comfortable in the minor leagues because I knew I could do it. Then I get here and you kind of press a little bit, especially catching. You know, I'm not too worried about the running game. There's so many things that go into it.

"... As long as I'm making good throws, I'm happy with what I'm doing."

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