Castro led banner year for backup catchers

While A.J. Pierzynski struggled through a down season, the catchers behind him combined to shatter White Sox standards

While writing Ramon Castro’s review and preview for White Sox Outsider 2011, I had to look back on stuff I’d written about the poor performance of A.J. Pierzynski’s backup catchers. That led me to update the chart of cumulative backup hitting lines, and if nothing else, 2010 was a banner year for second-string catchers.
Castro, Donny Lucy and Tyler Flowers combined to outhit every other reserve combination since New Comiskey Park opened, and by a large margin:

Year
PA
BA
OBP
SLG
OPS
XBH
RBI
278
.257
.309
.398
.707
21
32
248
.229
.294
.312
.606
10
24
179
.230
.257
.255
.512
3
13
193
.263
.342
.306
.648
5
25
169
.247
.292
.377
.669
12
27
262
.264
.324
.389
.713
17
28
298
.184
.266
.305
.571
15
31
326
.228
.272
.315
.587
24
34
265
.228
.333
.335
.668
16
17
466
.253
.319
.387
.706
33
52
365
.256
.333
.394
.727
26
36
311
.265
.305
.409
.714
24
41
227
.280
.302
.411
.713
16
30
322
.264
.313
.381
.694
23
32
153
.246
.291
.387
.678
12
11
156
.182
.252
.263
.515
7
17
156
.188
.206
.215
.421
4
4
138
.255
.299
.326
.625
5
7
146
.191
.274
.336
.610
11
17
161
.269
.341
.496
.838
14
23

The presence of A.J. Pierzynski keeps the counting stats down, but it’s worth noting that of those 14 extra-base hits, eight of those were homers. Castro had a lot to do with that, for better or for worse  — he hit eight homers, but his barrel chest (to put it nicely) limited him to just two doubles.
(Fun fact: The only player with enough power to hit eight homers and only amount two doubles? The late, great Walt Dropo, who actually hit 13 homers in 1957. Yowza. I wonder who’d win in a foot race. OK, well, I’m pretty sure Castro would win now, but even that’s not a lock.)
**********************************
Some new faces were added to the fold this weekend:
*The Sox signed Will Ohman to a two-year, $4 million deal, and I tried to figure out what it means for Chris Sale at South Side Sox.
*They also added a couple of decent arms to the mix at Charlotte, signing Josh Kinney and Shane Lindsay to minor-league deals. Kinney is pretty much a journeyman, and Lindsay both walks and strikes out a ton.
**********************************
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Remember Warren Newson? Well, I wrote a lot about his awesome OBP at SSS.
*It was History Week all over SSS, in fact. You can read about the 1990 White Sox and Harry Caray’s exit, too.
*White Sox Observer looks back at 2010 for Jake Peavy and Freddy Garcia, and is dubious of the Ohman contract.
*White Sox Examiner tries to figure out if Edwin Jackson’s success is sustainable.
*Gordon Beckham is on Twitter, and it’s boring so far.

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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