M.A.S.H. Report

Way Not to Use Your Head

Has anyone told the players that Spring Training doesn’t count. It doesn’t matter, especially if you are a regular. Why take a chance to miss part of the season? Well Alex Gordon and Coco Crisp will be missing a month of time each this season because they broke a finger each sliding in head first. How many of the 81 players that are on the DL are because of sliding in feet first, none. Maybe Alex and Coco didn’t see it as a problem, but now they and other players should.

Beginning the Season on the DL

The last few days, teams have been busy adding players to the disabled list. A decent percentage of the total number of DL trips happen at the beginning of season on average. Mainly this happens because of players recovering from off-season surgeries.

Over the past 8 years, there have been an average of 439 trips to the DL over an entire season. To start off this season, 81 players are on the DL or about 18% of an average season’s total. Twenty-eight of those trips are now for players still recovering from surgeries.

Not so Greatest Shape of Their Lives

At the beginning of Spring Training, Dave Cameron looked for players that said they were in the greatest shape of their lives. Of this group of 28 players, only one is currently on the DL, Daisuke Matsuzaka. I figured there was going to be more. Quite a few more games are left to play, so the list may change quite a bit. I plan on coming back to this list at least every month to see how these workout studs hold up over the season.

Unique Injury

Each team reports to MLB the nature of each player’s injury for reporting. Lance Berkman was said to have a “cranky” knee. Maybe the knee sees the team the Astros put together and becoming more disruptive with its complaints.

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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.

10 Responses to “M.A.S.H. Report”

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  1. GPS says:

    Regarding injuries, I’ve been thinking that spring training is way too long. You’ve got a marathon, six-month season ahead of you, and spend six weeks playing meaningless games and getting hurt. Just have the pitchers and catchers show up about St. Patrick’s Day and play catch for a few hours each day!

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  2. d says:

    Coco hurt his hand sliding again? he did that the first year with the sox, never was the same after.

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  3. I remember watching Geoff Jenkins destroy his ankle sliding feet-first into third base a few years ago. It was one of the more nauseating injuries I’ve ever seen.

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  4. ChuckO says:

    Regarding what #3 said, I think that the reason a lot of guys slide head first is because they’d rather risk a hand injury than a leg or foot injury. Back in the day, bases were made of canvas. If the player slid into it instead of letting his foot and leg slide over the bag, the base would have some give. He still might get an injury, but probably not a catastrophic one. Now, if a player slides headfirst, and slides into the base instead of over it, it’s like sliding into a stone wall.

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    • Hank says:

      Isn’t it mostly because they are stupid? Unless you are avoiding a tag, there is no reason to dive OR slide into first base… it doesn’t get you there faster then running through the bag. And then there’s the injury risk factor to compound the stupidity of this “fake hustle” play.

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  5. ChuckO says:

    That last sentence should have read, “Now, if a player slides feet first, and slides…”

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  6. ChuckO says:

    Hank, I wasn’t referring to sliding into first base. It obviously makes no sense to slide into first.

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