How the slow Giants plan to be aggressive to exploit MLB’s new rules

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bryce Johnson bunted for a single and stole second and third, then Michael Conforto hit a flyball deep enough to allow Johnson to tag and easily score.

After the play, Conforto received high-fives from teammates in the San Francisco Giants dugout for his sacrifice fly and just had to speak up.

“That’s not my run,” Conforto told anyone within listening distance, “Bryce did all the work. That’s on him, that’s not on me.’ ”

Later, Conforto said, “I love the fact everyone’s giving me high-fives, but I just hit a lazy flyball. If Bryce hadn’t done what he did, I’m slamming my bat in the bat rack.”

Conforto wasn’t alone in noticing Johnson’s impact and heaping praise on the rookie outfielder. The Giants haven’t been known for their speed as a team in recent years. Thanks to Major League Baseball’s rule changes, they’re making a concerted effort in spring training at becoming more of a threat on the bases, even with players who aren’t particularly fast.

The Giants want to take advantage of the bigger bases and limited pickoff attempts by encouraging runners to turn it loose, to an extent.

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