MASH Report (5/16/13)

A little light on the injury news front. I will look at one pitcher coming back from the DL and the Zone% values for DL pitchers.

Zack Greinke returned from his post fight DL trip. He struck out four batters, walked none in just over five innings of work. A couple of signs point to him not being 100% though. First, the 29-year-old’s average fastball is down 1.5 mph from last season.

Also is Zone% is down for the third straight year. His average fastball speed follows the same trend.

Season: Zone%, Fastball Velocity (mph)
2010: 49%, 93.5
2011: 46%, 92.5
2012: 45%, 92.4
2013: 44%, 90.8

Zack is an aging pitcher. Soon he may end up on the DL for a reason besides basketball or fighting.

• Zone% is my new love child as a stat to examine pitchers. Sometimes I think I may be giving it a little too much injury prediction credit. I figured another small test is in order. I went back and looked at the Zone% for pitchers who went on the DL in May for arm issues. I didn’t want to look at injuries which may not have been pitching related like J.A. Happ‘s fractured skull. Also, I wanted the pitcher in question to have thrown a few games, so I didn’t go back any further. The league average Zone% is 48.9% for 2013 and previously I found pitchers with Zone% under 47% to have higher injury risks.

Name Zone%
Josh Johnson 39.3%
Tom Gorzelanny 41.6%
Jake Westbrook 43.1%
J.J. Putz 44.1%
Roy Halladay 45.5%
Joel Hanrahan 45.9%
Scott Atchison 46.1%
James McDonald 46.2%
Jeurys Familia 48.0%
Andrew Bailey 51.0%
Vinnie Pestano 54.9%
Average of the 11 values 46.0%

Only 2 of the the 11 pitcher had league average or better Zone%. Three had a better than 47%. Not all pitcher with sub 47% Zone% go on the DL. Half don’t, but if given the choice of velocity or Zone% to see who is ailing, give me Zone% every time to find those at risk.

• Finally, let me know if any players you want examined who may be dealing with injuries. I will probably look at some hitters who returned from the DL in April for my next report. I will see how they are performing since they have had some playing time.

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 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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Is there an easy way, using FG’s leaderboards, to compare a pitcher’s 2013 Zone% to prior year rates? While having a subpar Zone% may be bad generally, some guys just can’t throw strikes. It would be more interesting, I think, to look at pitchers who are having more trouble throwing strikes than they have had in past seasons.


It’s under Plate Discipline on the player pages, if that’s what you mean.

Mike Podhorzer

The easiest way, at least for me, is to export the leaders from both 2013 and 2012, but make sure your IP minimum is low enough in 2012 so all the 2013 pitchers will show values if they pitched. Maybe like 50 innings. Anyway, export those to Excel, then copy and paste the name, Zone% and playerID from 2012 onto the 2013 sheet. Do a vlookup in a new column next to the 2013 Zone% searching for the playerid from 2013 in the 2012 data and then inserting the Zone%.

That was a terrible explanation if you’re not familiar with doing vlookups on Excel, but it’s hard to explain without giving a real detailed step by step.