11/7 The running game
The latest Bill James Handbook analyzes base running, and the Cubs finished in the bottom 10 among all teams. However, Tony Campana was seventh among all MLB players to avoid hitting into a double play.
According to the Handbook, the Cubs were 24th in net base gain in 2012 with plus-3 in the bottom 10 of all MLB teams. They finished ahead of the Nationals (-1) but behind the Dodgers (+6). The Cubs got on base 1,875 times, tied with the Pirates and less than any other team in baseball except for the Mariners (1,873). The James/BIS system is based on a system of pluses and minuses that measures both success as a base stealer and the ability to move up an extra base or score on things like a hit, sac fly, passed ball, wild pitch, balk, or defensive indifference. Mike Trout, for example, has a +51 overall score as a baserunner.
Stats on base running are given in the book for every Major League position player in 2012 and for every position player with more than 1,000 career games since 2002. Despite the Cubs’ overall base running woes, Campana was No. 7 baserunner in 2012, with a net base gain of +41 (tied with the Giants’ Angel Pagan). Campana also never grounded into a double play last season despite having 30 chances to do so. He was only one of five players not to ground into a double play when faced with at least one GIDP opportunity.
* The Cubs finished 11th in the National League with 94 stolen bases. Campana swiped 30 bases, tied for ninth best in the NL. Starlin Castro was next on the team with 25 steals.