MASH Report – (6/13/13)

Today I am going to examine Ryan Dempster and Jon Lester in detail. Also, I am rolling out some changes to HURT and PAIN. With PAIN (called Pitcher Abuse INdex based on a poll during the Tuesday night chat) Contact% is added and a regression amount factored in. With HURT, instead of evenly weighting the three previous seasons, I weighted the most recent seasons more. On both of them, I put the max value to be around 100, but a few players are determined to go over.

Ryan Dempster ranks 12th in the most recent PAIN. His fastball velocity is down 0.6 mph from last year which should be expected from 36-year-old pitcher.

The main item setting off the high ranking is a lowering Zone%. In 2012 it was 48% and it has dropped to 43% this year. The dropped began in early 2012 as pointed out by David.

The drop in Zone% can be seen in his BB/9 going from 2.7 to 4.2. Another injury risk factor for Dempster is his near 30% slider usage (28.5% in 2013). Finally, he has not be able to maintain anything close to a constant release point with over a one foot variation.

Dempster has all the signs of a DL bound pitcher. He may be able to make it the entire season starting, but I would bet on him being DL bound at some point.

• Eno Sarris just interviewed R.A. Dickey. Dickey talks about struggling through some early season injuries and is feeling better. Maybe see if an owner is willing to sell low on Dickey.

• By reading reports from Jon Lester‘s last start, it may seem he is an injury risk because he is not able to repeat his delivery:

“The first inning kind of sums up the whole night,” said Lester, whose seven walks on the night matched a career high. “Not able to repeat whatever pitch I made — fastball, curveball, changeup, cutter — I just was not able to repeat, whether it be location or the pitch itself. Not good.”

Overall, his game release points are tightly clustered together (three curve outliers).

Also, his velocity looks fine.

His only problem, as he noticed, was his inability control his pitches as seen in his four straight sub 45% Zone% games. I don’t think all is horrible, but also not all is good. It will be nice for him to get his control back.

Darren Oliver has finally pitched after returning from the DL. His velocity is in check with previous values.

HURT (Hitter’s Under-performance from Recent Trauma) Rankings (min 20 PA in 2013 and min 600 PA from 2010 to 2012):

Name HURT 2010 to 2012 PA 2013 PA
B.J. Upton 92.4 1883 222
Garrett Jones 55.2 1647 202
Nolan Reimold 50.7 505 113
Ike Davis 47.7 1334 207
DeWayne Wise 44.1 461 66
Cesar Izturis 43.8 719 74
John Jaso 43.2 1038 172
Josh Willingham 37.2 1629 249
Yorvit Torrealba 37.2 1000 86
Matt Kemp 36.9 1806 210
Seth Smith 34.5 1372 212
George Kottaras 32.7 582 53
Albert Pujols 32.1 2021 285
Mark Teixeira 31.8 1920 49
Lance Berkman 31.8 1165 237
Justin Turner 30.6 690 94
Jay Bruce 30.6 1870 286
Shelley Duncan 27.6 770 64
Shane Victorino 26.4 1900 159
Melky Cabrera 26.4 1716 279
Alex Avila 26.4 1318 178
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 26.4 864 193
Lonnie Chisenhall 24.9 374 99
Giancarlo Stanton 24.6 1498 100
Vernon Wells 24.6 1437 244

Mark Teixeira shows up after returning recently from the DL because of a wrist injury. Two stats are causing the high HURT value, Contact% and IFFB%. His contact rate is way down from around 90% to 80% and has caused his K% to jump from 16% to 33%. Besides not making contact, he is hitting a ton of weak pop flies. His IFFB% has gone from near 10% the last few seasons to 27% in 2013.

Teixeira may still be feeling the effects of his wrist injury. It will be interesting to see if his Contact% will improve over the next few weeks.

PAIN (Pitcher Abuse INdex) Rankings (min 10 IP in 2013 and 20 IP in 2012)

Name PAIN IP 2013 IP 2012
Jeff Locke 116.7 75.1 34.1
Jared Hughes 106.5 16.1 75.2
Lucas Harrell 86.6 77.2 193.2
Francisco Liriano 81.5 42.0 156.2
Jonathan Broxton 81.1 26.1 58.0
Jason Marquis 78.3 77.2 127.2
Alexi Ogando 73.0 55.1 66.0
Chris Resop 68.5 18.0 73.2
Craig Stammen 64.5 31.2 88.1
Cory Gearrin 61.1 27.1 20.0
Santiago Casilla 60.5 19.0 63.1
Ryan Dempster 57.2 75.2 173.0
Tanner Scheppers 56.1 32.0 32.1
Esmil Rogers 55.1 35.0 78.2
Luis Mendoza 53.5 58.0 166.0
Matt Harrison 51.2 10.2 213.1
John Axford 50.5 28.0 69.1
Mark Lowe 49.7 11.2 39.1
Wily Peralta 48.5 74.2 29.0
Carlos Villanueva 48.1 62.0 125.1
Paco Rodriguez 45.7 22.2 6.2
Burke Badenhop 44.9 29.1 62.1
Darin Downs 43.3 23.0 20.2
Javier Lopez 42.1 16.0 36.0
Matt Moore 41.9 69.0 177.1

Jared Hughes is the poster child PAIN is supposed to find. A two mph drop in velocity. A Zone% under 30%. And the Pirates put him on the DL with an inflamed elbow.

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 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.

17 Responses to “MASH Report – (6/13/13)”

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  1. Norm says:

    This is a colossal task, and it is very much appreciated. Thanks, Jeff!

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  2. Fischer says:


    If I remember correctly, you’re the head honcho of baseballheatmaps. I was wondering if it were at all possible to feature a “leaderboard” for batted ball distances, similar to the one you do for batters, but for pitchers.

    There’s a lot made of “so-and-so has been unlucky with a ___ HR/FB%” as if there’s a mean percentage that applies for all pitchers. I’d be curious to see if there’s any correlation to the batted ball distance and HR/FB% similar to the one Fangraphs did this past off-season.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      It is on my to do list, but summers are killer for me with the kids home from school. Adding a 3rd metric also when I have time, hard hit balls (distance on all batted balls).

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  3. Mike says:

    Have you thought about just comparing fastball velocities of home ball parks, (since presumably they’d be using the same radar gun), so factor out the noise between different guns?

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  4. brentdaily says:

    I believe BJ Up was a 300+ rating last week and now he’s sub-100. Is he a really fast healer or was there a change in the algo?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      First paragraph:

      “On both of them [HURT and PAIN], I put the max value to be around 100, but a few players are determined to go over.”

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  5. Jon L. says:

    Do these indices reflect change over time? For instance, if a player is injured, spends time on the DL, and comes back healthy, will the index show him as healthy due to recent metrics, or is it based on season-long stats that might still suggest that he’s hurt?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      It is season long right now, I have it on my to do list to go month to month. I think the hitters will be easy, but pitchers will be harder since the Pitch fx data (velocity and Zone%)isn’t split up currently by month in our splits data.

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  6. Stuck in a Slump says:

    I’m pretty sure that the news hit after this was published, but Tulo is out 4-6 weeks with a broken rib.

    My fantasy teams are officially crushed by the overwhelming onslaught of injuries.

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  7. Pops says:

    Lester or matt Moore, ROS? Both seem to be struggling with similiar types of control issue.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Lester, basically he has less issues (control) than Moore (velocity and control).

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  8. awalnoha says:

    Lester rocked again. No walks but a lot of hits. He ,ay have been wild in the zone. Any word on the sox working on his mechanics. I trade $3 Gattis for a $25 Lester when McCann came back thinking Lester would stabilize my last rotation spot in my 20 team keeper league and Gattis would cool off for this year. Now a big regret.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Look for a piece later in the week on Lester from Paul. Paul is wanting to use some possible questions from David L. who will try to talk to Lester once he gets back to Boston. Sorry, but I can’t intrude on Paul’s work.

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  9. awalnoha says:

    That sound great. Thanks.

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