MASH Report (7/18/13)

With little new injury information because of the All-Star game, I will give a bit of information on three pitchers and look at the HURT and PAIN leader boards.

Colby Lewis‘s fastball is reported to be averaging 87 mph with 89 being his top end. This about 1 mph less than he threw in 2012 which was a career low.

Chris Carpenter‘s fastball in his rehab starts is averaging between 90 and 91 mph. This value would be near his 2012 when his ERA and ERA estimators hovered around 4.00.

• After taking a ball of the wrist last week, Max Scherzer looked fine at the All-Star game. He averaged 96.5 mph on his fastball.

HURT (Hitter’s Under-performance from Recent Trauma) Rankings (all hitter with 100 PA in 2013 and 500 PA from 2010 to 2012):

Any player with a HURT value over 100 (red) has the traits of a batter playing through an injury. Differentiating opinions exist on his heath.

HURT Name HURT PA (2013) PA (2010 to 2012) Hurt in 2013
1 B.J. Upton 201.6 318 1883 x
2 Nolan Reimold 171.6 140 505 x
3 Seth Smith 159.6 301 1372 None
4 Alex Avila 129.6 230 1318 x
5 Albert Pujols 127.2 407 2021 x
6 Jason Kubel 127.2 215 1554 x
7 Aramis Ramirez 121.2 209 1763 x
8 Melky Cabrera 121.2 335 1716 x
9 Chris Iannetta 120.0 250 902 None
10 Giancarlo Stanton 117.6 224 1498 x
11 Lance Berkman 115.2 282 1165 x
12 Chris Johnson 111.6 289 1295 None
13 Jimmy Rollins 110.4 403 1724 x
14 Matt Kemp 108.0 246 1806 x
15 Brandon Phillips 103.2 388 1985 x
16 Jarrod Saltalamacchia 100.8 287 864 None
17 Justin Turner 100.8 102 690 x
18 Miguel Montero 98.4 352 1457 None
19 John Jaso 97.2 233 1038 x
20 Kevin Youkilis 96.0 118 1461 x
21 Vernon Wells 94.8 322 1437 None
22 Dustin Ackley 91.2 219 1044 x
23 Pablo Sandoval 84.0 325 1524 x
24 Troy Tulowitzki 82.8 265 1338 x
25 Brandon Inge 82.8 109 1214 x

• Of the top 25 HURT scores, with the minimum playing time requirements met, 19 of the players have dealt with injuries so far this season. Half of those without reported injuries were catchers who deal with bumps and bruises all the time.

Seth Smith has the highest HURT score without a reported ailment. His ISO is on a 4 season decline along with his Contact%. His Speed Score is only on a 3 year decline. In this case, HURT may be picking up a quickly aging player instead of one who is injured.

• Overall, I am extremely happy with the current results of HURT. The one big change was removing IFFB% early on. Players are being spotted way before they are officially injured.

• The one huge improvement I would like is to run split values (monthly, 1st Half, etc). The FanGraphs database is not set up for splits on Speed Score or Contact%, so I would need to figure out a way to calculated these two with play-by-play data (or remove them). It is doable, but it would take a significant amount of time I don’t have right now (looks like an off season project).

• Besides just the top 25 regulars, here is the full list of players for reference.

PAIN (Pitcher Abuse INdex) Rankings (30 IP in 2012, 30 Ip in 2013)

Any player with a PAIN value over 100 (red) has the traits of a pitcher likely to be hurt.

PAIN Name PAIN IP (2013) IP (2012)
1 Jason Marquis 220.6 112.1 127.2
2 Jeff Locke 219.2 109.0 34.1
3 Lucas Harrell 184.6 108.1 193.2
4 Alexi Ogando 146.0 55.1 66.0
5 Tanner Scheppers 144.7 44.0 32.1
6 Esmil Rogers 141.3 71.2 78.2
7 Matt Moore 134.3 107.1 177.1
8 Scott Feldman 102.8 109.2 123.2
9 Luis Mendoza 102.7 81.1 166.0
10 John Axford 98.5 38.2 69.1
11 Francisco Liriano 95.5 76.2 156.2
12 Felix Hernandez 92.3 138.2 232.0
13 Craig Stammen 86.4 49.2 88.1
14 Jordan Walden 82.8 30.2 39.0
15 Jered Weaver 78.4 67.0 188.2
16 Zack Greinke 75.4 85.0 212.1
17 Jake Westbrook 74.2 75.0 174.2
18 Ryan Webb 73.7 43.0 60.1
19 Ryan Dempster 71.8 110.1 173.0
20 Adam Ottavino 68.0 47.1 79.0
21 Burke Badenhop 64.4 41.1 62.1
22 Jamey Wright 61.0 43.0 67.2
23 Michael Gonzalez 60.4 33.0 35.2
24 Yovani Gallardo 59.3 113.2 204.0
25 Mat Latos 56.5 120.0 209.1

Jason Marquis tops the list for several reasons. His velocity is down about 1.5 mph. Additionally, his Zone% dropped from a low 46% to an insanely low 39%. The low Zone% has led to a 5.2 BB/9 which is almost as high as his 5.8 K/9. If he didn’t have a shiny 9 wins an 3.77 ERA, I doubt he would still have job. His ERA estimators average out to a +5.00 value. There is just no way he can keep up the magic act.

• The one problem with PAIN currently, it relies on Zone%. The data and theory behind a bad Zone% leading to injury is: If a pitcher can’t throw strikes, then something is wrong with their arm or something will be soon because of the inconsistency. I am thinking of dropping how much it is weighted and re-look into some features like a consistent release point.

• The initial results with PAIN were promising, but as time has gone on, I need to look towards improvements. I am thinking I need to compared data over a shorter time span with a month being the ideal time frame. Like with HURT, some of the values I use are not recorded as splits in the FanGraphs database. I will likely move forward with changing this metric first as it seems to have more potential.

• Besides just the top 25 regulars, here is the full list of players for reference.

Players on the DL

(*) 15 Day Disabled List
(**) 60 Day Disabled List
(***) 7 Day Concussion List
Red colored entries are updates since last report.

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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.

17 Responses to “MASH Report (7/18/13)”

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  1. Ruki Motomiya says:

    Maybe PAIN would get better results if you compared Zone% to career Zone%?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I try to stay away from career pitcher numbers because pitcher talent changes quickly. I do both a measure below 47% and drop from previous season. The pitchers who do both get the double whammy.

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      • JAL says:

        Jeff, sorry for my ignorance, but on a player’s page, what is the difference between “Plate Discipline” and “Pitchf/x Plate Discipline” numbers? Which should I look at as sometimes there are large discrepancies. Thanks!

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      • JAL – different data source. Plate discipline uses Baseball Info Solutions (BIS) data, whereas PITCHf/x is using that system.

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  2. sgtjunior says:

    I was hoping you would tell me Lester is hurt and not just sucking

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Some weirdness with Lester, I may look at him for the next MASH report (may be in over a week because I am taking a vacation next week, but I may need to get away from the family and go write).

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  3. Paul621 says:

    General question: Player profiles include a “Plate discipline” section and a “Pitch FX plate discipline” section, both of which include Zone%. I noticed they can vary quite a bit–which one are you citing when you reference it? (And do all Fangraphs articles cite the same one when using Zone% in the analysis?)

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  4. Mike says:

    Does PAIN penalize pitchers who spent most of their time in the minors, such as Jeff Locke? Or does the algorithm acknowledge minor league innings as part of the pitcher’s prior workload?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Innings are not part of the equation at all. It looks at their previous season stats and compares them to this season.

      Locke is getting destroyed by his low Zone%.

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  5. Cybo says:

    I’m curious. Why is 100 the threshold for a pitcher to be showing traits of a likely injury? Also should we worried about Felix at 92.3?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I needed some kind of scale so people would know what generally considered injured. Felix has the signs (lower velocity, lower Zone%), but they are not to the levels of some other pitchers.

      IMO, Felix is aging, not necessarily hurt.

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  6. Cameron says:

    Maybe you need to combine a pitcher’s zone % with their ability to induce chase %. For instance, if Liriano or Corbin throws sliders outside of the zone repeatedly and induce hitters to swing and miss regularly, then why would they throw the slider for strikes? That doesn’t mean they are hurt. Just means they are exploiting a hitters’ weakness with their strength.

    Not sure how you would combine those two. Maybe in some way that batting average and slugging are combined to calculate ISO.

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  7. mymaus says:

    JZ – are you on a well deserved vacation? I miss my MASH reports. When you get back can you talk about Greinke some. Last few starts zone% down, velocity about the same and results are good but I’m still a little leery.

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