MASH Report (12/2/13)

Even though there has been no import injury news, some small bits of information has populated the interwebs.  Today’s article is just a small update on the progress of some players.

• The Orioles think Manny Machado will be ready for opening day.

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado continues to progress favorably in rehab from left knee surgery, and manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday the expectation is Machado will be ready for Opening Day.
“We put a real safe date on it,” Showalter said of Machado’s timetable, which initially was estimated at six months for a mid-April return. “I think he’s got a real chance to make the start of the season. [He] needs to play in [spring] games by March 15 to make the season.”

I will wait-and-see with him. It will be nice to see him run and hit before calling him 100%.

• Yu Darvish has gotten the go ahead to start pitching again.

Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish has been given the go ahead to continue with his normal offseason conditioning program.
Darvish, who finished this past season experiencing inflammation in his lower back, was examined by Dr. Drew Dossett this week while in Texas and underwent an MRI. The results showed that the inflammation from the nerve irritation has subsided.

As I have previously stated, I would be looking to sell high on Darvish with his injury issues.

• Corey Hart will find out if he is cleared for baseball activities tomorrow.

“What’s so hard right now is I don’t get cleared until Dec. 3,” Hart told MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. “We have plenty of teams calling and checking in to see how I’m doing, but until the doctor says I’m 100 percent, they’re going to hold off until that time.

“It’s kind of frustrating because I’ve been 100 percent for the last month. Until I can actually get back out to [Dr. Neal ElAttrache in] L.A., I’m kind of in a holding pattern right now.”

Where he ends up will help to shape his value, so don’t lose track of him with the rest of the off-season transactions.

• RK at looked at various injury risks and here are a few highlights.

First, here is his conclusions on age (link to graph in question)

As you can see, injured players tended to be older, by about 2 years (30 vs. 28, rounding).  The black dotted line represents the fit of a logistic regression model, which is a fancy way of understanding how the risk of injury (axis on the right side) increases with age.  We see that injury risk increases approximately linearly through the whole age range, with a slope of about .02 per year; which is to say, every year a player ages, they are 2% more likely to make a trip to the DL. The risk of injury is quite substantial in a player’s late 30s–almost 50%.

On position differences he states:

Still, I think there is evidence for some patterns: the athletically demanding middle infield positions (SS/2B) do show heightened aging, whereas corner outfielders have a pronounced flatness to their line.  First basemen start out being fairly hardy, but I suspect that as they take on rejects from other positions, the aggregate risk of injury increases substantially.

• Mark Teixeira hopes to be swinging a bat by January. Here is his recovery plan.

1. Strengthening and flexibility exercises through December.
2. Beginning tee and pitching machine work on January 1.
3. By early February, hitting off a 90-mph machine with authority.
4. Full everyday workouts when spring training opens, but no games in the first week of exhibitions.
5. Begin playing Grapefruit League games in early March.

• Randy Wolf auditioned for eight teams recently and his fastball was between 87 and 89 mph. The velocities are consistent with his previous values.

• Ruben Amaro Jr. said Ryan Howard is feeling himself and hopes he plays 145 to 150 games in 2014. I am pretty sure I will take the under.

“I hope [Ryan Howard]’s playing 145, 150 games. Ryan loves to play and he wants to play. I think he’s feeling as close to ‘himself’ as he’s felt in a long time. There’s no question that Ryan Howard is an integral part of our club. Having him in the middle of the lineup and producing for us is absolutely imperative.

Possible Players on the DL to Start the 2014 Season

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

Major League Report

Minor League Report

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Jeff writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first season in Tout Wars, he won the H2H league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Any word on Cameron Maybin? I thought he was supposed to be playing winter ball but can’t seem to find out why he doesn’t seem to be??