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The Bill James Handbook 2009 - Projections For The Washington Nationals' Pitchers In '09.


The Bill James Handbook 2009 from ACTA Publications includes, according to the description on the publisher's site:

• Exclusive! Fielding Bible Awards

• New Relief Pitching

• Manufactured Runs Analysis

• Young Talent Inventory

• Manager's Record

• Baserunning Analysis

• Career data for every 2008 major leaguer (and a few bonus 

   players) with more statistical categories than any other book

• Pitcher Projections 

• Hitter Projections 

• Team Efficiency Summary 

• Player Win Shares 


I was granted access to the "Pitcher Projections" from the soon-to-be published 2009 edition of the Bill James Handbook so I decided to take a look at what several potential DC starters are predicted to do next season based upon statistical analysis by Mr. James, who is described in his profile as:

"...a baseball writer, historian, and statistician whose work has been widely influential. Since 1977, James has written more than two dozen books devoted to baseball history and statistics. His approach, which he termed sabermetrics in reference to the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), scientifically analyzes and studies baseball, often through the use of statistical data..."

(ed. note - "Several potential DC starters who debuted this season and are expected to be in the '09 starting rotation, were not included on the list, and hard as I tried I couldn't crunch their numbers myself, so this is a short list...and I included possible free agent starter A.J. Burnett based solely on the report on the Nationals' interest, (should Burnett opt out of his deal with Toronto), that points to's Jerry Crasnick's article entitled, "Burnett to decide on opt-out by start of GM Meetings Monday", which thegashousegang wrote about in a FANPOST entitled, "Nationals named as one of the suitors for Burnett"yesterday here at")

Player  Age GS IP K HR W L ERA
Tim Redding* 31 30 168 115 24 7 12 5.01
Jason Bergmann
27 21 139 113 20 7 9 4.25
John Lannan
24 29 177 103 18 9 11 4.08
Odalis Perez**
32 30 171 113 21 8 11 4.51
Shawn Hill 28 15 75 45 5 4 5 4.12
A.J. Burnett*** 32 32 224 218 21 14 11 3.62

* = Tim Redding is a non-tender possibility according to's Bill Ladson, who lists him amongst the potential starters, assuming he'll be back in DC in an article entitled, "Nationals see reasons for optimism in '09". 

** = Odalis Perez is a free agent. No word yet, though he's expressed an interest in resigning.

*** = A.J. Burnett hasn't decided to opt out of his contract yet, according to writer Jordan Bastian's article entitled, "Burnett on clock to opt out of contract", which also mentions DC in a list of potential suitors, and Mr. Bastian writes:

"Burnett, who will likely command around $16 million annually over a long-term contract, would prefer to stay near the East Coast, considering he spends his offseasons with his wife and two sons in Baltimore."


• - Tim Redding's (10-11) record and 4.95 ERA in 33 '08 starts should earn him a raise over the $1 million dollars he played for last season. Should the Nationals bring back the 31-year old righty? If Redding, who led DC starters in wins this year, ends up (7-11) with a 5.01 ERA as Mr. James' Handbook predicts, who's gonna end up leading the Nationals' pitchers in wins next season. 

• - After a (9-15) '08 with a 3.91 ERA, Mr. James has John Lannan at (9-11) with a 4.08 ERA in his second full season, and at 24-years-old, Lannan's going to be a veteran on a DC staff that might include, Shairon Martis, 21, Collin Balester, 22, and Jordan Zimmermann, 22. Lannan and Redding would have to be considered the one and two starters in a list like this though, and if they're a combined 16-22, DC might be in for another long season...

• - If you're DC GM Jim Bowden, do you bring back Odalis Perez? Perez pitched for $850,000 in Washington in '08, and ended up (7-12) with a 4.34 ERA after going (8-11) with a 5.57 ERA in '07 with Kansas City, and his 30 starts for the Nationals are the most he's made since 2004, so he's gonna get a raise for sure, but at 32 years-old, do you give Perez the multi-year deal he'll no doubt be seeking?

• - 15 starts from Shawn Hill? That would be the second highest total of his career...and Mr. James has '09 Hill pitching like the '06 Hill who had enough potential to keep the Nationals interested in having him in the starting rotation to this day in spite of the constant arm issues...but 15 starts?

• - Do you think there's any chance of the Nationals signing A.J. Burnett? Do you want to sign another starter with a history or arm issues?

• - Are there any other free agents out there whose "Projections" you are interested in seeing? Any you think DC should pursue?

• - Which of the starters mentioned do you think will be in the Nationals '09 starting rotation?