MASH Report (6/24/13)

No pitchers going off the DL over the last few days, so I will just examine a few injury stories. Also, the PAIN and HURT leaderboards for younger players are posted.

• With about every pitcher who goes on the DL, I like to see if there were any glaring injury signs. With Jon Niese (torn rotator cuff), no signs really existed. His fastball velocity dropped 0.5 MPH from 2012 and his Zone% was down 0.9% points. While a declining velocity and Zone% are signs of a injury, these levels don’t usually raise any read flags. Of the 453 pitchers PAIN ranks, he was the 295 least injury prone.

Another factor I examine is his late game consistency (process is faster, it used to take over a minute to calculate and now it is almost instantaneous). Niese’s value has slow risen over the past three seasons.

Season: Late game consistency
2011: 30.3
2012: 35.1
2013: 50.2

The lack of a consistent release point has probably caught up with Niese, particularly his shoulder. Here is a release point graph of his last start.

While no obvious injury signs existed, years of throwing hard and inconsitently eventually caught up with Niese.

• The Washington Nationals have to be the worst team in baseball when it comes to handling everything to do with injuries. Davey Johnson‘s belief’s seems to be behind the play hurt attitude of the club. Now Bryce Harper is in the middle of it. Harper want to return 100% while Johnson wants him earlier.

Harper:

“I’m full speed, every single day. It’s going to be hard playing at 70 percent if they want me to play at 70 percent. I’m not going to do that. I want to come back 100 percent and get back as quick as I can.

Johnson:

“I trust players too. They know more about their body than the medical staff. But when you come back from injury, are you ever 100 percent? No. The body has a wonderful ability to heal itself. The more you get the blood flowing, the more you have to heal.”

The Nats and their players need to get on the same page quickly when it comes to dealing with injuries.

• Reader John asked if I would take a look at Michael Pineda this week. Here is my best effort.

First, his latest fastball speed has been clocked averaging 92 mph with a max near 95 mph. This velocity is about 2 mph slower than he threw in 2012 before the shoulder injury. It will drop his value some.

Second, he has thrown decent in 8.1 IP of rehab with 1 ER (3 Runs), 7 K and 1 BB. He is able to get High-A hitters out. OK, I would hope so.

Finally, as Mike Axisa notes:

The 30-day rehab window expires on July 8th, so at that point the Yankees will have to activate Pineda off the DL and either add him to the big league roster or option him to Triple-A. If he spends roughly 2-3 weeks in the minors following rehab, the team will push his free agency back from 2016 to 2017. Seems like a no-brainer.

If the Yankees don’t really need him, he will likely see time in AAA once off the DL.

So with the information available right now, owners should expect velocity based declining returns and a possible AAA stint before a MLB call up.

Shane Victorino‘s back is hurting again. Don’t own hitters with back injuries.

Josh Beckett is still out with a “Strained left groin; right hand fingers numbness”. W -w-w-w—wait. Strained groin, numb hand. Com’on Josh your not 15 any more, loosen your grip a little.

HURT (Hitter’s Under-performance from Recent Trauma) Rankings (hitters 27-years-old or younger today, no PA min.)

Any player with a HURT value over 100 (red) has the traits of a batter playing through and injury.

Rank Name Age HURT PA (2010 to 2012) PA (2013)
1 Pete Kozma 25 193.2 104 269
2 Ike Davis 26 159.6 1334 207
3 Rob Brantly 23 158.4 113 174
4 Tyler Moore 26 157.2 171 102
5 Alex Avila 26 127.2 1318 188
6 Jhonatan Solano 27 121.2 37 34
7 Jurickson Profar 20 120.0 17 107
8 Jason Heyward 23 106.8 1730 220
9 Carlos Peguero 26 93.6 212 7
10 Fernando Martinez 24 87.6 175 35
11 Brett Wallace 26 85.2 792 26
12 Giancarlo Stanton 23 82.8 1498 144
13 Lonnie Chisenhall 24 81.6 374 113
14 Matt Dominguez 23 81.6 161 279
15 Danny Espinosa 26 76.8 1428 167
16 Billy Butler 27 75.6 2030 293
17 Logan Schafer 26 75.6 30 127
18 Justin Sellers 27 74.4 189 77
19 Tyler Flowers 27 73.2 297 195
20 Blake DeWitt 27 70.8 769 4

Billy Butler is showing up on this list. The main item bringing him down his a significant drop in his ISO (.197 in 2012 and .122 in 2013). Sadly, the Royals are my team and I have known Butler is struggling, but I have heard nothing of a possible injury. I will let you know if I find anything out.

PAIN (Pitcher Abuse INdex) Rankings (pitchers 25-years-old or younger, no IP min)

Any player with a PAIN value over 100 (red) has the traits of a pitcher likely to be hurt.

Rank Name Age PAIN IP (2013) IP (2012)
1 Jeff Locke 25 232.8 89.1 34.1
2 Wily Peralta 24 122.1 87.0 29.0
3 Matt Moore 24 104.5 80.2 177.1
4 Paco Rodriguez 22 88.9 26.0 6.2
5 Cody Allen 24 66.2 32.0 29.0
6 Justin Grimm 24 66.0 72.2 14.0
7 Phillippe Aumont 24 64.9 13.0 14.2
8 Robert Carson 24 63.5 18.0 13.1
9 Carter Capps 22 62.1 29.2 25.0
10 Kelvin Herrera 23 58.2 27.2 84.1
11 Jordan Walden 25 52.7 23.1 39.0
12 Hector Santiago 25 47.7 65.1 70.1
13 Mat Latos 25 47.2 103.1 209.1
14 Brett Anderson 25 45.7 29.0 35.0
15 Rex Brothers 25 42.4 32.1 67.2
16 Jarrod Parker 24 39.2 97.0 181.1
17 Jordan Lyles 22 37.3 63.2 141.1
18 Craig Kimbrel 25 35.4 28.1 62.2
19 Rick Porcello 24 30.6 76.0 176.1
20 Drew Smyly 24 28.4 46.1 99.1

Mat Latos makes this list with an almost 1 mph drop in velocity (has been trending upward recently) and a Zone% dropping close to the magical 47%. Additionally, his release points are all over the place in his last start:

His stats are not as extreme as some other pitchers, but Latos owners should be monitoring him as the season goes on to see if his PAIN rating goes up or heads down.

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.

21 Responses to “MASH Report (6/24/13)”

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  1. John says:

    WOW! Fantastic analysis of Pineda. You saved me a roster spot mistake for the next few weeks. Thanks!

    Any thoughts on Hill? I know he comes off DL tomorrow and I will probably start him, but how long of a leash (in weeks) do I give him before I cut bait?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I would re-examine Hill after a couple of weeks. I would be look to see if he can actually hit a ball with distance. I want to see some power behind his hits.

      I don’t like in his rehab starts he has only 2 XBHs, no HRs.

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  2. dan says:

    So it looks as if Jeff Lock is MUCH more likely than any other pitcher to get hurt. Can you explain this? I don’t really understand.

    Thanks.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      PAIN, which looks at 2 main factors (velocity loss and low/declining Zone%) and 2 minor factors (Pace and 95+ mph velocity).

      For Locke:
      The high velocity is not an issue.
      The Pace is up even with a less base runners per inning (lower WHIP).
      A small velocity less (-0.7 mph) is seen.

      The big kicker is his Zone%. It has taken a double turn from 2012. First it is down over 12% points from 53.5% to 40.8%. Besides, dropping quite a bit, it dropped below the 47%, which makes pitchers more injury prone.

      Basically, Locke has problem throwing strikes and pitchers who haven’t been able to keep the ball over the plate, end up on the DL more regularly.

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      • Sgt Hulka says:

        Does it discount data from starts earlier in the season? For example, would JParker be on the list if you ignored his April when he was possibly injured?

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      • Jeff Zimmerman says:

        It just compares 2012 to 2013 and doesn’t discount when during the season the data is from.

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  3. Jon L. says:

    Can you please add a reminder to these columns as to what time frame HURT refers to? Is it based only on full-season data (suggesting we should ignore it if someone played hurt, was on the DL, and has performed well since coming back)? Thank you!

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  4. Adam says:

    Should I be worried as an owner of Porcello? He’s in the top 20, but his PAIN is only 30.6.

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  5. Adam says:

    For what it is worth, both Kyle Drabek and Eric Surkamp are throwing rehab games in minors, with Surkamp likely moving up to AAA within the next week..

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  6. pudieron89 says:

    That Beckett tidbit is the best thing I’ve read on this blog recently. Props

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  7. metswinthepennant says:

    Jeff,

    what’s your opinion on stashing Doc “Huckleberry” Halladay on the DL for a team that is pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot, if not a Bye? Mind you my league has K:BB, ERA and WHIP, so he could help all 3 rate cats. Could he have a vintage Halladay month of September?

    Thanks man and cool charts.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I think the one item which may hold Halladay back is his pride. He may try to pitch (like he did this spring) before he is healthy. I may attempt to stash him and monitor his rehab results.

      One issue may be the Phillies may just not use him at all in 2013 if they are out of the pennant chase.

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  8. Ruki Motomiya says:

    A friend just dropped Derek Jeter because he badly needed the roster space. Do you feel Jeter is more likely to be in early or late July, and do you feel he will be a positive contributor?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I would expect the later number (sooner dates are Jeter’s who thought he would be back in March).

      I would not expect anything until the 39-year-old goes on rehab assignment and plays a real game. Also, I think the ZIPs and Steamer projections (ROS) should be the high side of his production.

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