MASH Report (5/8/14) – Thumb Injuries

• On Monday, Tom brought up looking at the rest of season effects on Ryan Zimmerman‘s thumb injury. Tom was looking for the effects for different types of thumb injuries. Well, I can’t get that detailed. The injury database I have only goes goes down to the thumb level, not location on thumb. Even looking just at thumbs, only 28 documented players went on the DL since 2002 for thumb issues. I like to have around 50 players for a good sample, but cutting 28 in half (or more) would just not yield a decent sample size. So here is the information.

Average Age: 29.7
Median age: 29
Average DL Days: 35.2
Median DL Days: 30

Decline rate for hitters with a thumb injury
Stat: Year-1 to Year, Year to Year+1, Year-1 to Year+1
AVG: -0.010, -0.002, -0.015
OBP: -0.012, -0.004, -0.021
SLG: -0.015, -0.028, -0.044

Decline rate for hitters from age 28 to 30 season
Stat: Year-1 to Year, Year to Year+1, Year-1 to Year+1
AVG: -0.002, -0.003, -0.005
OBP: 0.000, -0.001, -0.001
SLG: -0.004, -0.006, -0.010

This season, he should see a 10 point drop in his expected AVG which will felt in his OBP and SLG. Next year, the there should be no more than the expected decline in AVG or OBP, but his SLG should drop more than expected by 20 points.

• Since we are over a week into May, it is time to reset a pitcher’s velocity changes to their April values. The following is the velocity increase or decrease from April to May so far.

Kenley Jansen‘s velocity is coming back to his 2013 values.

Scott Kazmir‘s velocity has been seeing a slow decline.

Additionally, he is having more problems finding the strike zone.

It might be a nice time to sell high with him.

• I will champion Dane de la Rosa just a bit more. His velocity is back to 2013 levels according to the team.

De La Rosa was between 90 to 93 mph with his fastball during his most recent outing on Tuesday, according to the stadium radar gun. That’s about where he was in April of last season, though he gradually added fastball velocity as the year went on, and it’s much better than the 88.65 mph he averaged when he originally returned from a right forearm strain on April 12.

If you are in a deep league with Saves as a category, pick him up, stash on the DL (abuse league rules if possible), and see how the Angels bullpen situation works out.

Adam Lind may return tonight.

• It is tough to see Matt Wieters with the elbow injury after starting out having a career season. I am afraid it is going to cost him some production on the plate. I may look to find a temp replacement until he is healthy enough to play in the field. If he can’t throw 100%, he is not going to be hitting 100%.

Jeremy Hellickson plans to return around July.

If all goes well, Hellickson could be back in the starting rotation by July, if not before then.
“It’s hard to say,” the 26-year-old right-hander said. “I don’t know what the next step will be. I just keep rehabbing and keep treating it.”

Johan Santana is up to 88 mph which seems to have the Orioles excited.

Johan Santana, who threw two innings in an extended spring game on Monday, had a fastball that averaged 88 mph and Orioles manager Buck Showalter — who was on hand to watch — said that’s similar to what he was throwing for his big league no-hitter.

During the season he averaged 88 mph, he had his ERA estimators near 4.00 in the NL with 22% K%, 8% BB% and 1.3 HR/9. Those values should only get worse in the AL. Maybe a desperate owner looking for pitching could get him in an AL-only league.

Jason Motte has been touching 96 mph in his rehab appearances.

• While Aroldis Chapman may have his velocity up, he has struggled in his minor league appearances.

Fastball velocities for pitchers returning from the DL

Gavin Floyd looks fine.

Clayton Kershaw was fine (sorry for the scare)

Jhoulys Chacin‘s fastball is down 2 mph.

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

Minor League 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.


14 Responses to “MASH Report (5/8/14) – Thumb Injuries”

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  1. Marco says:

    Re: Kazmir…FWIW, I *think* it coincides with the start (3rd one?) where he was suddenly throwing a little harder, but was taken out and reported his hand or arm being numb.

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  2. Tom says:

    Thanks for the analysis!! (Bucket List Item: Get mentioned in a Fangraphs article. Crossed off)

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  3. K men says:

    Jeff, what are your thoughts on kipnis? Any info on abdominal muscle injuries affecting power or speed? I think his seemingly improved plate discipline this year isn’t for real as his plate discipline (by pitch) numbers are not improved like his k/BB is. But I do want to make sure that I can at least expect last year’s kipnis before I acquire him. If he loses either power or steals he loses his superstar power very quickly…

    Also it would be awesome if you could comment on David wright. His power disappeared with low ISo and decreased batted ball distance and that is why he keeps showing up at the top of your leader owed for hitters likely playin through injuries. But his plate discipline is similar to usual( just whiffing a bit more than usual) and his batted ball profile is too. Power outage could be injury or SSS I guess, but rapid decline seems unlikely in someone. His age, right?

    Who would you take ROS between kipnis and wright?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I will look at the abdominal muscle effect, but I don’t like the expanded strike zone.

      As for Wright, I am losing faith in his power. His contact is also down. He is just at different talent level now.

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  4. K men says:

    Oh, and one more thing. Sorry to bombard you with questions but do you think iwakuma’s drop in velo is jus that he’s still building up since he missed spring training and had short rehab or is it actually worrisome? If you could trade him now for homer bailey would you do it? (I know bailey himself is a complicated case too)

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  5. Ron says:

    Is this the right place to post if I have a trade question? If not, please point me to the right post/person cause I need help.

    Give: Pujols and Harper
    Get: Encarnacion and Gio

    Also, would it be better or worse for me if it were A-Gon instead of Pujols?

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  6. Scott says:

    FanGraphs points league. Is Porcello too little in return for Kazmir?

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  7. Mario Mendoza says:

    So many good young AL SPs on the mend! Gausman, Walker, Paxton, and even Bundy.

    If you could stash 2 in an AL-keeper for the 2nd half (and beyond,) who would it be?

    Bundy is already throwing bullpen sessions next week. I had written him off for the year, but he could be back a lot closer to the other 3 than I initially thought.

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