No HURT, PAIN or SLOW rankings today. Instead, I concentrated my time on looking at Cain’s possible injury and Darvish’s actual injury. Besides the those two, I examined Verlander, Jeter, the Uptons and a few pitchers coming off the DL.
• Rumors are flying around about Matt Cain being injured. Here are quotes from Cain, Bochy and Alex Pavlovic on Cain’s possible injury.
-Q: How did you feel coming out of your warm-ups?
-CAIN: I felt fine. Normal.
-Q: The conclusion someone might have after you only last two outs is that something is physically wrong. Is there anything wrong?
-Q: You’re fine?
Manager Bruce Bochy said there is no health issue that has led to Cain’s struggles or the quick hook — Mike Kickham was warming up by the fourth batter and came in after Cain could not record the third out.
“I didn’t want it to become a health issue,” said Bochy, who added that he was worried about Cain’s first-inning pitch count that reached 36. “He’s fine. I had some concern there because he was a little off.
“I’ll be honest. You want to win every game, but you don’t want to risk someone to win a game. That’s why I got him.” (source)
No surprise after that first inning, but I’m told there have been in-house discussions about Cain’s health in recent days. (source)
Let’s see what we can find out. Here are the results from my pitcher injury finder at baseballheatmaps.
Velocity fine. No inconsistency issues (compare graph to Darvish’s graph below). The only issues is his recent inability to throw strikes. Here are his Zone%’s over the last 5 games:
A slow decline in Zone%, but not unheard of values.
My best guess on what happened, Bochy had Cain’s inablity to throw strikes in the previous few games in his head. As he said, he pulled him after the long inning to make sure he wasn’t hurt or didn’t get hurt. Bochy may have pulled the trigger a little too fast, but I would rather see a manager to error on the side of caution than leave a pitcher in and eventually get injured.
• Yu Darvish went on the DL with shoulder issues. After going back at looking at some of Darvish’s data, it should be no surprise his shoulder gave out.
Second, he has issues throwing the ball in the strike zone (47% Zone%) and it has remained low throughout the 2012 season.
Third, his horizontal and vertical release points have varied by over a foot this season.
An inconsistent release point can put extra strain on his elbow. Finally, he has not been consistent (speed, release and break on fastballs) late in games (compare to Cain’s chart above).
The main cause for the high inconsistency values is a drop off in velocity at the end of games. Here is velocity chart from his last start.
Putting all the data together, Darvish was an injury waiting to happen. It is probably too late to sell high on him, if he comes back and throws a couple decent games, try then because only more DL time is in his future.
While I don’t think the 30-year-old is injured, he may finally be seeing some aging effects.
• The B.J. Upton and Justin Upton are both struggling. My injury predictor, HURT, puts B.J. as one of the most likely hurt players. My bat speed indicator, SLOW, indicates Justin has one of the slowest bats in the league. Recently, both players addressed any possible injuries in an ESPN article:
Justin has had so much trouble catching up to high-octane fastballs, it’s fueled a run of Internet speculation about his health. You don’t have to search hard to find a blog advancing the theory that his hand is hurt or he’s toughing it out through an oblique injury. But he quickly lays that issue to rest.
“I’m 100 percent healthy,” Justin says. “I’ve got no ailments.”
B.J. is healthy as well, unless you count wounded pride and battered self-esteem.
I can believe Justin is fine, but just not B.J.
• Derek Jeter returns today to the Yankee’s lineup today as the DH. From all reports, his bat is fine, but his running may be limited by his ankle. For fantasy purposes, I would only expect his AVG to be a useful. Also, it will be interesting to see if he plays everyday which could be important in weekly lineup leagues.
• Wei-Yin Chen‘s fastball velocity looks fine in his return.
• Dan Haren‘s velocity is at 2012 and early 2013 levels.
• Rafael Bentancourt’s fastball velocity is down 2 mph in 2013 compared to 2012. After returning from the DL, it is up a bit.
• Luis Ayala‘s velocity is down if you really care.
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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