2010 Disabled List: Position Data

A few days ago, I put out the list of players that spent time on the disabled list in 2010 along with the some team data. Today, I will look at how the DL data breaks down by position.

To begin with, here is how each team is broken down by the numbers of days on the DL between when comparing pitchers and hitters:

PitchVsHitDL

The only piece of information that jumped off to me was comparing the days lost by pitchers of the Boston Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks, which lost the 4th lowest number of days, lost more days to pitchers than the Red Sox, which had the 3rd highest total of days lost.

Next, here is a chart comparing the difference in the number of trips to the DL vice the number of days lost for each position:

Generally, each position, besides pitchers, loses the same number of days and trips when compared to other position players. When combined, the position players have about the same number of trips to the DL as pitchers. Once on the DL though, the pitchers are more likely to remain on the list for a longer time. This difference can further be seen in the following 2 charts:

Pitchers

pitchersDL

Hitters

hittersDL

The main difference I noticed from the numbers is the high percentage of pitchers than spend >165 days on the DL compared to hitters. Barely any of the hitters on the DL, 1.4%, are out for an entire year, but 11.4% of the pitchers make the longer stay.

For the next installment, I will be breaking down the data by injury type (i.e. strain) or body location (i.e. elbow).



Print This Post



Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Temo
Member
Temo
5 years 8 months ago

Not surprising that the two teams with the fewest pitchers lost in the NL (ATL and SFG) had the lowest park-adjusted ERAs in the league.

Chops
Guest
Chops
5 years 8 months ago

How does injury data correlate with park factors?

chumpchange
Guest
chumpchange
5 years 8 months ago

It doesn’t. Read it again.

Mike Green
Guest
Mike Green
5 years 8 months ago

It should be clear that this statistic (especially for pitchers) does not necessarily capture players injured during the 2010 season. Players on the 60 day DL from 2009 add many days to the totals. For instance, the Blue Jay pitching DL total looks high, but the staff was basically healthy all year. Pitchers such as Litsch and Richmond who were injured in 2009 contributed much, if not most, of the DL time.

As the Jays changed pitching coaches during the off-season, the statistic could lead to an unfair inference, if not understood correctly.

siggian
Guest
siggian
5 years 8 months ago

Litsch actually returned this year and then went back on the DL.

You are basically correct though. The Jays pitchers that started with the team this year stayed healthy all year. It’s the ones that started the year unhealthy that stayed on the DL. I’d be interested to know whether McGowan was counted on that list since he’s basically been on it for two years now.

Brian Tallet's Moustache
Guest
Brian Tallet's Moustache
5 years 8 months ago

I wonder what a list of the project WAR of players on the DL for each team would look like. After all, Hayhurt’s injury hurt the Jays a lot less than, say, Pedroia’s DL stint hurt Boston.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
5 years 8 months ago

I don’t know about any other teams, but I got bored one afternoon on a slow work day and started running the math. I came to something like 8.4 wins lost by the Sox from injuries accounting for the wins added by their replacements. I’ll have to see if I can dig up the numbers, but it was all VERY rough math.

odditie
Member
odditie
5 years 8 months ago

How close would the days be if you take out pitchers that were out greater than 166 days? I’m just curious because it seems like those 26 pitchers could skew the data to pitchers and taking them out would give a better picture of what the average injury to either of them takes to recover.

Also, how many of these injuries were from a previous season, such as Edinson Volquez, Jordan Zimmermann or Brandon Webb all missing large chunks or all of the season despite not being injured this year. How would this data change if you removed them from it?

TomG
Guest
TomG
5 years 8 months ago

A further way to break this down would be to weight the time on DL by the expected playing time of the injured player. The % of time on DL times the maximum IP or PA for 2009/2010. Then figure this as a % of total team IP /PA. Giving a rough estimate of how much playing time needed to be replaced.

futant462
Guest
futant462
5 years 8 months ago

Please. No more pie charts. Other than that, super interesting post.

wite
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

It’d also be quite interesting to see the value of the replacement players for the injured players – see which teams were able to handle injuries better than others. Not only would it be cool to see the actual differences and random variance, but it also gives a decent picture of the depth and quality of the minor league teams within the majors, and how much they actually mean to teams.

ivano
Guest
ivano
5 years 8 months ago

I think the split by position doesn’t make much sense, if I have understood well how it has been computed. Typically every team carries 11 eleven pitchers, 2 catchers, 1 player for each other position plus some backups for outfielders and infielders.
So at least you had to weight the days by the number of players for each role

pack
Guest
pack
5 years 8 months ago

One of the worse kept secrets in baseball is the Red Sox use of the DL as a way of stashing players without losing roster spots or exposing players to waivers. Every starting pitcher seems to get a DL stint sometime mid-summer for shoulder tendinitis or some other difficult to prove reason. DiceK was on the DL for a ton of last year with “Arm Fatigue”, wakefield goes on it for back injuries, beckett has finger avulsions. I don’t knock their gaming of the system, but I do think it skews the numbers for pitcher pretty heavily.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
5 years 8 months ago

I’m not sure I disagree with you, as the Sox have put plenty of pitchers on the DL with various “fatigue” style injuries. But how does this actually help them from exposing players to waivers?

pft
Guest
pft
5 years 8 months ago

The Red Sox lost 182 days to Tazawa who was not expected to make the 25 man roster and may only have had a bullpen role later in the season. Also, Boof Bonser missed 64 games but was part of a reclamation project like Smoltz was last year and never expected to start the season with the Red Sox. That’s over 1/2 of the 416 DL days. For players who were on the 25 man roster on opening day, they lost 170 days.

So the Red Sox pitching staff was relatively healthy. Daisuke started off the season on the DL, and when he came off the non-performing Beckett went on the DL in May for 2 months swinging the bat in preparation for interleague play. Clay Buchholz missed all of 4 starts hurting his leg running the bases in interleague play. Then they had a phantom DL (Francona admitted this) for Daisuke to bring up a bullpen arm, followed by a couple of DL (phantom?) stints for non-performing bullpen arms in Okajima and Delcarmen. Didn’t help Delcarmen who got traded, but the rest did Okajima good.

All in all, I estimate the Red Sox missed 20 starts and 20 relief appearances they would have got if they were 100% healthy, and most of these missing starts and appearances may have been blessings in disguise. Wakefield for example had a lower ERA as a starter than Beckett pre and post DL. The Yankees should have been so lucky with Burnett.

The other thing to consider is that some stints on the DL lead to a players release after coming off the DL and still being ineffective, possibly as a result of the injury, and rather than waste a roster spot and send them back to the DL, they get released or traded and then replaced. This happened with Chan Ho Park. While he only spent 31 days on the Dl he actually was lost for most of the season as a result of the injury leading to his DL stint and ineffectiveness.

pft
Guest
pft
5 years 8 months ago

Looking at Red Sox hitters more closely, I see that most of the hitters on the DL were back ups, 352 back up days to 294 regular days .

Most of the backup days were from guys expected to spend the season in the minors (Lowrie, who got healthy shortly after Pedroia got hurt) or were obtained via waiver or trade mid season.

The regulars who spent time of the DL were

Ellsbury-161 days
Cameron-98 days
Pedroia-98 days (orginal spreadsheet missing one of his DL stints)
Youk-61
V-Mart-28

Based on their full season WAR in 2009, it is estimated this cost the Red Sox WAR

Ellsbury- 2.4
Cameron-2.4
Pedroia-2.7
Youk-2.0
V-Mart-0.6

Total – 10.1 WAR (excluding what backups did)

Assuming backups performed at league average (comes out to 4.9 WAR), this would lead to 5.2 L. If backups performed at less than league average, of course, this number is a bit higher. No time to calculate it out.

Of course, everyone loses some WAR to position regulars each season. I have no idea what the league average is though.

Looking some other teams for the heck of it (position regulars only)

Phillies, 169 days – 4.2 WAR (5.9 below Red Sox)
Twins 212 days -2.8 WAR
Rangers -171 days-2.5 WAR
Yankees-205 days-3.1 WAR
Orioles -218 days-3.0 WAR
Braves-220 days-3.8 WAR
Dodgers -198 days-3.2 WAR
Giants-261 days-2.4 WAR

I think it is safe to say position regular WAR lost by the Red Sox was at least 6 WAR above average, maybe as much as 8.

Noticed a mistake that inflated Torontos DL days for hitters. Encarnacian is down as missing 166 days but he played 98 games.

JCA
Guest
JCA
5 years 8 months ago

pft – I get 450+ days of regular time off of the 5 Red Sox players you name. That’s 2.5 seasons of regular time lost. I suppose some of V-Mart’s time would have been split with the back up catcher, but Tek lost much of the second half, too. In terms of WAR lost, is it legit to assume backups are average major leaguers or is it better to assume they are replacement level? They probably did well with Lowrie and the backup OFs, but probably did not with the back up C and 1B.

wpDiscuz