MASH Report (1/24/13)

Welcome to the first installment of RotoGraphs’ M.A.S.H. Report. This season, I will be putting out 2 injury reports each week (Monday and Thursday afternoons) which will be a one stop shop on injured players. I will contain information like updates on recent injuries, disabled list movement and player return times. Each post will grow in size each week as I add more and more information. This post will be a portion of the size of it during the season. Also, nothing is set in stone and I open to improvements. If there is any information you want added, let me know.

Here is the current general outline of the data to be presented in each report:

1. Brief one- to two-sentence blurbs on recent injuries. Major injuries and their impacts will be covered in full length articles and linked here.
2. Return times and status of rehab for all players on the DL with link(s) to appropriate sourced article(s).
3. Tracking players’ stats once recovered from their injuries (fastball velocity, time to 1B speeds, HR/FB distance, Zone%).
4. At-risk players, mainly pitchers (low zone%, high # of walks, drop in velocity).
5. Players with nagging injuries, but not missing playing time or on the DL. This section focuses on players who may not be reaching their projections because of injuries. I found players who play through injuries under perform their projections, especially their power.

Recent Injury Data

 •  The news about Mike Napoli‘s failed physical has finally come to light and it doesn’t look good. He has avascular necrosis in both hips. It is the same condition which sideline Bo Jackson. In an article at ESPN, Dr. Stephen Mikulak, a hip and knee specialist, states:

“He potentially could go on and heal from this and be perfectly fine.
There’s a 30 percent chance of being OK without doing anything. [If advanced], there’s a 70 percent chance there will be a progressive death of bone tissue that will cause the ball portion of the ball and socket joint to collapse. And a square peg in a round hole doesn’t work. He could develop arthritis and have a lot of pain. If the ball collapses, he could wind up needing hip replacement surgery [as Jackson did], or a resurfacing of the hip joints.
Usually, but not always, the hips are first affected, then other joints may follow,” according to information on the AVN website. “It can strike any bone or joint in the body. The bone tissue/joints actually die, just as heart muscle tissue dies from a heart attack.”

It will be interesting to see where he goes in drafts and for how much in auctions. I would be a buyer once my core team is set since I wouldn’t want to count on his production.

 •  Brian McCann is aiming to be back by opening day, but the Braves see the return pushed back at least a couple of weeks. It looks like he will likely miss some time at the beginning of the season.

 •  Francisco Liriano has a broken humerus and will not be able to pitch “early in the season”. Just stay away from rostering him in all but the deepest of leagues until some more information is available.

 •  Scott Elbert had surgery on his elbow and is expected to be out until the beginning of the season. He is pretty much a non-factor in fantasy baseball.

Player Return Timetables

Here are some of the pitchers who had Tommy John surgery last year:

Name Injury Injury/Surgery Date Early Return Date Later Return date Status Source(s)
Joakim Soria TJS 04/02/12 Late May Early June Playing Catch (1)
Scott Baker TJS 04/17/12 Start of Spring Training Opening day Throwing off mound (1)
Brian Wilson TJS 04/19/12 Unknown Unknown Not ready to pitch (1)
Cory Luebke TJS 05/23/12 July July Unknown (1)
Danny Duffy TJS 06/13/12 Late May/Early June All Star Game Playing Catch (1)
Kyle Drabek TJS 06/19/12 Mid Season Mid Season Unknown (1)
Brandon Beachy TJS 06/21/12 Mid June Mid June Playing Catch (1)
Felipe Paulino TJS 07/03/12 Late July Late July Unknown (1)
Daniel Hudson TJS 07/09/12 July July Playing Catch (1)
Neftali Feliz TJS 08/01/12 July August Playing Catch (1)

Results From Returning Injured Players

Information will be added as it becomes available

Players Playing Through Injuries

No games going on, so no data. My next article will be on this topic looking at how hitters who played through injuries in 2011 and how they did in 2012. Also, I will look at some players who played through injuries in 2012 and should exceed their projections in 2013.

Again, let me know any other possible additions to the 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.

13 Responses to “MASH Report (1/24/13)”

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  1. Ben says:

    I love it! This will be very helpful thanks!

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  2. Rags says:

    Super Awesome A+!!!
    I love me some cheap pitching keepers from the list of TJ guys.
    Also, heard something recently about Corey Hart delaying surgery. Don’t know if that makes it into these kinds of reports or not.

    Anyway, thanks!

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  3. Ben says:

    this looks very useful.

    One guy that popped into mind that I didn’t see in this (rough draft) edition is Michael Pineda recovering from Labrum surgery. Not sure exactly where he would fit, but maybe something to look into

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  4. Jon J. says:

    Playing through injury 2012: Trumbo in the 2nd half?

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  5. Scott says:

    Amazing. Jeff Zimmerman, you are a roto Yoda.

    Whether it was you or an editor or somebody else, props to whomever thought up this idea. It’s not only incredibly useful for the roto layman, but also illuminating for baseball at large. Going forward, I hope you conduct your research in a way that will make it easily compilable for larger-scale retrospective studies on injuries and performance.

    I’m sure teams have this info, but we on the other side sure don’t. Kudos.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Thanks everyone. It was based off our Bullpen Report where it should be the one stop location.

      One item I have already considered adding is any new updates in the return time tables will be a designate in some way (red in color I think)

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      • Scott says:

        For many reasons (not the least of which is to avoid the ire of thousands of commenters), I think you should consider using confidence intervals in the return time/at-risk sections. It could greatly increase the transparency of your research.

        Additionally (and I know I’m asking for way too much now) it would be great to see some sort of a ‘real-time’ update on how accurate your injury projection metrics are. I don’t think anyone reasonably expects you to be 100% correct, and as the evolution of your pitcher DL projections show, this is a constantly evolving process. By and large, the Fangraphs readership accepts that, warts and all. It would be great to see how well you have done with your numbers, so we can both 1) use the numbers with the grains of salt we individually deem appropriate, 2) observe the evolution of your work as it happens, and 3) make reasonable suggestions for improvement.

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      • Jeff Zimmerman says:

        Scott, some answers.

        For return times, I just plan on reporting what the players or teams have stated.

        The problem with intervals is the player is either going on the DL or not which is why I used logistic regression to create the values. If a player is 40% likely to go on the DL, I am 60% sure he won’t go on the DL.

        I could run the DL numbers as the season goes on, but it would be low and increase. The last two seasons, I have been dead on when looking at a group of 20 or so pitchers. Also I correctly hit the pitchers at risk for throwing sliders and curve balls. The Zone% and BB% values will be put to the test this season for the first time.

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  6. jfree says:

    Great info for drafts

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  7. Ruki Motomiya says:

    This seems like a great idea. Thanks for doing it. :)

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