MASH Report (2/27/14) – Clay Buchholz Edition

Besides going through the normal injuries, I decided to give a detailed injury outlook for a  starting pitcher. Today’s pitcher is Clay Buchholz (a Paul Swydan request), but please let me know if you want anyone else. I am now sure how many I will have time for in the future, but I will try.

Josh Hamilton may not be ready to go for the regular season after injuring his ankle.

Asked if he believes Hamilton will get enough Spring Training action to be ready to go by Opening Day on March 31, Scioscia said: “Under the guidelines we’ve been given, he should, but this thing has to heal on its own terms and we’ll just see where this leads.”

Hamilton is so frustrating. I am glad someone else usually believes in him (and Matt Kemp) more than me during drafts, so I don’t have to live with the fustration.

Jaime Garcia will not need shoulder surgery.

Left-hander Jaime Garcia received a cortisone injection in his left shoulder on Wednesday after it was determined that he is dealing with inflammation in that area. Both George Paletta, the Cardinals’ team physician, and orthopedist James Andrews saw no structural damage with Garcia’s surgically repaired shoulder.

Right now he is resting and hopes to start pitching again soon. Once he does start up throwing again, it will be at least a month before he is game ready.

Mike Minor will miss a couple starts while “recovering from a surgical procedure that removed scar tissue from his urethra.” O-key do-key.

Jhoulys Chacin is out for an undetermined amount of time with a sore arm.

In the best-case scenario, the 26-year-old is diagnosed with chronic tendinitis. It would require rest, leaving him a likely limited participant in early April because he’s already two weeks behind the healthy starters. Chacin hasn’t thrown a side session off a mound. He will need time to build up arm strength once he’s cleared.

Right now it looks like no one knows when he may be back.

Craig Gentry may not be ready for opening day with a sore back.

Jon Niese‘s shoulder is bothering him.

But after Niese, 27, reported to spring training this month, he felt pain in the triceps area of his left arm. That pain apparently subsided, Manager Terry Collins said Wednesday, but the discomfort returned when he threw to Mets hitters during a recent batting practice session.

“At the end of it he said, ‘Geez, my arm’s just dead,’ ” Collins said.

He was sent to get a MRI in New York and he is supposedly all good.

Chase Headley will likely to play in the season’s opener even though he is dealing with a calf strain.

• The Royals top prospect, Kyle Zimmer, is dealing with forearm discomfort. It may or may not matter. The Royals planned on limiting his innings to just 150 anyway, so he wasn’t going to be throwing much to start the season.

Michael McKenry declared himself healthy after testing his surgically repaired knee by sliding.

• We can finally stick a fork in Johan Santana after he topped out at 81 mph in a recent tryout.

• Clay Buchholz‘s 2014 Injury Outlook 

Explanation of the categories at the end.

Age: 28
IP in 2013: 108
IP in 2011 to 2013: 380
Zone% (2011, 2012, 2013): 48%, 50%, 47%
Average Fastball Velocity (2011, 2012, 2013): 92.6, 92.2, 91.9
DL Chance (2011, 2012, 2013): 44%, NA, 51%,
2014 DL chance: NA
Overall Mechanics: C+

Buchholz took a leap forward in 2013, both literally and figuratively, ratcheting up his already-plus momentum and improving his peak posture to establish a deeper release point than in years past.”

DL stints over the past 3 seasons:
2011 (103 days): Strained lower back
2012 (24 days): Intestional
2013 (93): Neck Strain

Three year trends

Late Game Consistency

Velocity

Zone%

Overall Assessment: Buchholz has been a decent pitcher when he is not hut. Even though he didn’t reach the minimum number of innings for a 2014 DL projection chance, it will be higher than the 51% value he had to start 2013. For 2014, I would make sure his velocity and Zone% are back up to previous levels. They were both down at the end of last season after he was rushed back from his neck injury.

The one good item about his 2011 to 2013 DL stints is they have not been arm related. If he could just keep the center of his body healthy. Or maybe he hasn’t thrown enough to injure his arm.

Feel free to ride his production until he breaks again at some point during 2014. If he doesn’t, great. I would be leery of picking him up in leagues with a shallow free agent pool since the replacement level production is much lower.

Factors:

  • Age: People get more injury prone the older they get.
  • IP: If a pitcher has shown the ability to throw a full season previously, they are more likely to be able to hold up for a full season again.
  • Zone%: Pitchers who have problems throwing pitches in the strike zone are more likely to end up injured. A Zone% under 47% indicates a pitcher is more likely to end up injured. It is tough to tell which causes which. Does a wild delivery lead to an injury or is it the injury which leads to a wild delivery.
  • Fastball Velocity: As a pitcher gets hurt, his velocity declines.
  • DL chances: Using past innings pitched, age and previous DL stints, the chance a starting pitcher will end up on the DL can be determined (min 120 IP in the previous season).
  • Overall Mechanics: For this value, I took the grade from Paul Sporer’s 2014 Starting Pitching Guide and sometimes I added a quote from the guide.
  • Previous DL stints: Nothing predicts future DL stints more than previous DL stints.
  • Three year trends: Late game consistency measures a pitcher’s ability to keep up their production late in a game. When they have a high value, they experienced a huge change in the following: release point, break and/or velocity. These changes have been known to be signs of a possible injury.

Players on or Probably 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

On DL

Probably on DL

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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Johan Santa strikes again!

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