Notes from The Bill James Handbook 2010

In what’s becoming an annual mid-holiday tradition, I picked up the latest copy of the Bill James Handbook this evening. If there’s one theme emerging during the first thumbing-through, it’s “Thank God for the Kansas City Royals.”

The Bill James Handbook 2010
In many categories, the Sox were near the bottom of the league — but never close to last, thanks to their AL Central counterparts.  I’ll go through a few of these occurrences and some other interesting nuggets.

  • The Sox were second-to-last in manufactured runs (137), which should come as no surprise.  Only the Royals were worse (130).
  • At .370, Alexei Ramirez had the second-highest batting average against left-handed pitching. Derek Jeter hit .395.
  • Scott Podsednik (5.58) and A.J. Pierzynski (5.90) finished sixth- and seventh-worst in percentage of plate appearances resulting in an RBI.
  • The Sox were the sixth-worst baserunning team (-20). The Royals finished at -67.  Both teams finished second-to-last in outs made advancing with 35.


  • D.J. Carrasco had 25 long outings — 25 or more pitches — which was good for second in the league to Baltimore’s  Brian Bass. Carrasco had three more relief innings.
  • The only Sox reliever to record a save when entering with the tying run on base? Tony Pena.
  • John Danks had the second-highest percentage of pitches in the strike zone to Minnesota’s Scott Baker.
  • Danks, Mark Buehrle and Clayton Richard were three of six pitchers to pick off six runners or more.
  • Gavin Floyd has the least-hittable curve in terms of OPS (.410).


  • Chris Getz was the only infielder to show up on the plus-minus trailers list, finishing 10 plays below average, sixth-worst among major-league second basemen.
  • Jermaine Dye was the worst right fielder over the last year (-28), and over the last three years cumulatively (-81).
  • Carlos Quentin wasn’t much better (-20).


  • Ozzie Guillen used the second-fewest relievers of any manager, five more than Don Wakamatsu.
  • The Cheat received an advance copy, and noted Guillen’s regression to the mean in terms of handling starters.
  • FanGraphs has James’ always-optimistic projections for 2010 in the system.
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Going to be interesting to see what the rays gave up for catcher kelly shopach, I was hoping he could be non tendered and an option for the whitesox.