Ten things I learned in the 2017 Bill James Handbook.

Bill  James Handbook 2017The 2017 Bill James Handbook is on shelves now. It’s 609 pages of facts, figures and other quantitative observations from the most recent baseball season. I’m always amazed at how quickly anyone can publish such massive amounts of data, let alone sort them and analyze them into something digestable.

Between tracking down Kenley Jansen contract details, I attempted to make the BJH even more digestable for Dodger fans. Here are 10 things that either I didn’t know, or didn’t know with nearly the same precision, before reading the book:

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Dodgers agree to terms with Chris Hatcher and Scott Van Slyke.

The Dodgers agreed to terms on one-year contracts with two players Thursday: pitcher Chris Hatcher and first baseman/outfielder Scott Van Slyke.

According to the Associated Press, Van Slyke’s deal is worth $1,325,000 and Hatcher’s contract is worth $1.25 million.
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Bullpen notes: Chris Hatcher, Alex Wood, Frankie Montas.

Chris Hatcher

Dodgers pitcher Chris Hatcher is eligible for arbitration after the 2016 season. He might not pitch in the meantime. (Getty Images)


Chris Hatcher might not pitch again this season because of a Grade 3 strain of his left oblique muscle.

“It seems unlikely for his return,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

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Dodgers place Chris Hatcher on 15-day DL with left oblique strain, recall Charlie Culberson.

The Dodgers’ disabled list grew by one Wednesday, when Chris Hatcher was placed on the 15-day DL with a left oblique strain. Infielder/outfielder Charlie Culberson was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

There are currently 11 players on the Dodgers’ disabled list, matching their high-water mark for the season (first accomplished in April). The 11 players have 2016 major league salaries in excess of $82 million, with a big boost from staff ace Clayton Kershaw.

Culberson is in the Dodgers’ starting lineup today against the Washington Nationals, batting eighth and playing shortstop.

The veteran appeared in 15 games with the Dodgers earlier this season, batting .259 (7-for-27) with two doubles and four RBI, before being optioned on May 18. In 46 games with Oklahoma City this season, he’s hitting .289 with 13 doubles, a triple, two home runs and 19 RBI.

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Liberatore thankful his stay with Dodgers lasted more than a day

It seemed easy to assume Chris Hatcher’s return to the Dodgers bullpen on Friday after the birth of his son on Thursday meant Adam Liberatore’s stay in the major leagues would last all of one day.

The Dodgers instead decided to keep an eighth reliever and send down catcher Austin Barnes. It didn’t hurt that Liberatore became just the second lefty in the bullpen when he arrived from Triple-A on Thursday. He struck out four of the six batters he faced in the minors, but Liberatore wasn’t thrilled that he landed there in the first place.

“I obviously wasn’t happy about it, but I’m not going to sit here and say ‘One of these guys should be here and I shouldn’t.’” he said. “I felt like I had a strong spring and I just wanted to keep doing my thing and hope for a quick call-up.” Continue reading

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