MASH Report (7/3/14) – HURT and PAIN Reports

• I wrote about the currently state of Tommy John surgeries at The Hardball Times on Monday and Tuesday.

The key points for fantasy owners are ..

… no velocity increase after surgery…

Tommy John surgery doesn’t help a pitcher increase velocity. While there was a small increase from Season 1 to Season 3 in our sample, it would not be worth it for a pitcher to miss at a minimum one season to see a 0.1 mph bump that they then will immediately lose. Probably most of the increase is from a decline in production before the injury knocked them out of action, as well as the time spent rehabbing.

… and the pitcher will struggle their first season back ….

The first season back from Tommy John is by far the worst for the pitcher, with all major stats headed in the wrong direction. By the second year, most stats have stabilized, except strikeouts. It’s not surprising to see strikeouts decline, since velocity is also declining.

… and the second TJs is happens about 3-4 years after the first one.

This area is ripe for some research. In the 2013 THT Annual, we found pitchers had about 650 innings between their first and second procedure, though the sample size was miniscule. Recently, I ran a brief study using the up-to-date TJS database and found those pitchers who had their first TJS from before 2011 averaged 4.5 years until they needed to go under the knife again, with a median time of 4.0 years. These numbers are in the ballpark of the 650 innings value we originally found.

• A new sleeve may help prevent Tommy John surgeries in the future.

“If the motion capture is a 10, then the Sleeve is almost a 10,” he said. “It’s already capturing at a higher rate (1,000 frames per second versus their current 500 fps for motion capture). It requires no setup, and when we compare various measures to the database we’ve built doing years of motion capture, it’s very good.”

Those measures alone will astound. The Sleeve can not only capture things like arm speed and release point, but it can calculate the angles of the elbow and shoulder. It can directly measure, in real time, the forces acting on the ulnar collateral ligament.

Right now it is  illegal to be used in a game, but nothing is stopping teams from using it during warm ups or bullpen sessions.

Brett Anderson touched 90 mph in a rehab start. He averaged 90 mph earlier in the season. An perpetually hurt Colorado pitcher who has diminished velocity…. I’ll pass.

CC Sabathia is up to his 2013 fastball velocity

He was charged with five runs (three earned) on five hits. Sabathia struck out two, walked one and hit a batter. His fastball sat at 90-91 mph and he reached 94 mph in the first inning.

… which helped him post a 4.78 ERA.

Nolan Arenado will come off the DL sometime today.

• Cleveland believes Justin Masterson is healthy after stating recently he was not healthy. Instead, Masterson’s issue is just control.

The results on the mound have been rough of late for sinkerballer Justin Masterson, but the Indians are convinced that the starter is healthy.

“I think he actually feels OK,” Indians manager Terry Francona said on Wednesday. “I think it’s some command that he’s going to have to fight through. I think he physically feels pretty good. … I think he’s open to working with [pitching coach Mickey Callaway] a lot. That’s good. We’ll fight through it together.”

“It’s command,” Francona said. “There’s times right now where he’s throwing it and hoping it’ll have some natural movement that’ll get him out of a jam, as opposed to commanding. I think some of that is confidence. Some of that is repeating. Because, when he gets on a roll, we’ve all seen [how good he can be].”

Right Terry. Your pitcher has had a nagging knee injury since the season’s start. I am sure that hasn’t affected his control one bit.

• One player coming back from a minor league DL stint with a high upside is Danny Salazar. For owners in need of some help, here are some updates. His velocity is at 2014 levels (which is 2 mph less than 2013 levels)

He is not walking as many batters.

Salazar missed some time with a right triceps injury in the Minors, but he has been solid since coming off the disabled list. In his past four outings, the righty has posted a 3.47 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and registered 29 strikeouts against six walks in 23 1/3 innings. On Monday, Salazar struck out nine, walked one and gave up one run in 7 1/3 innings against Louisville.

He may fall on his face again, but at least he is rested from the injury and is getting his command back.

Joey Votto won’t likely be healthy for the rest of the season.

When the Reds gotJoey Votto back from the disabled list after he strained his left quadriceps near his knee, manager Bryan Price repeatedly noted he was aware the first baseman wouldn’t be 100 percent healthy — likely for the rest of the season.

The change can be seen with the power drop by comparing his pre-DL and post-DL numbers.

Before DL: .257/.410/.449, 6 HRs
Post DL .263/.374/.355, 0 HRs

I would expect the last line for the rest of the season. A person can check to see if he is possibly getting his power back by seeing if his ISO value is headed up on his daily graph.

• Nice read on medical process for drafted players with a focus on Brady Aiken.

Fastball Velocity Watch for Pitchers Returning From the DL

Tyler Skaggs‘s average fastball velocity is fine.

Players on the DL

HURT (Hitter’s Under-performance from Recent Trauma) Rankings (introduction/explanation) :

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

Aaron Hill shows up on the list. Looking back, he missed 3 games in May for a sore shoulder. Before the injury he was hitting .269/.324/.431 and since then he is at .224/.240/.301. I would not be surprised one bit if that shoulder is still bothering him.

PAIN (Pitcher Abuse INdex) Rankings (introduction/explanation)

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

Comparing 2013 to 2014

Comparing April 2014 to May and June 2014

• On the 2013 to 2014 comparison, Tyson Ross is one of the few starters with a PAIN score over 100 not to go on the DL so far this season. His PAIN score is a little skewed because he would expect a velocity drop from 2013 when he was a reliever. The main issue I have with him is the 40% slider usage. Sliders increase a player’s chance of injury 10% points. With Ross’s past injuries, it will be interesting to see if he can make through the season.

Travis Wood shows up on the April and May vs June and July list. His velocity is down, but it has seen similar decreases over the past year and half.

His Zone% on the other hand is taking a dive he has not seen before.

Definitely a pitcher to keep an eye on the rest of the season.

Players on the DL

(*) 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


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.

23 Responses to “MASH Report (7/3/14) – HURT and PAIN Reports”

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  1. Jolly Good Show says:

    Great stuff as usual Jeff.

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  2. Jolly Good Show says:

    Sorry for posting another comment straight after. What’s your view on Trumbo ROS? It’s more the same injury that Pujols had last year that worries me. It’s an uncommon injury in England, so I don’t know too much about it. The broken bone in his foot depends on which one he broke (the further away from the middle of the five, the longer it takes to heal).

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      The team is say All Star break (from linked article):

      Trumbo will continue to face live hitting at the D-backs Spring Training facility and should be running bases by the end of the week. His return is likely to happen either just before or after the All-Star break.

      We will see how things go, but I could see his return be even later.

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      • Jolly Good Show says:

        Thanks. The impression I get from the plantar fasciitis injury is that it tends to linger. In your opinion, is he likely to come back fully healthy, or is the rest of the season a write-off. Should I shop him to other teams when he comes off the DL? Is Pujol’s similar injury and poor performances a good comp?

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      • Jeff Zimmerman says:

        I don’t know if teams would pay a lot for him, maybe hope and pray he has a few good days and then shop him.

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  3. kman says:

    Love the MASH report every time. Wasn’t there supposed to be an article by you about Wade Miley a week or two ago? I was waiting for it…

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Yea, that hit a couple road blocks.

      First, the TJS article sucked up a huge amount of time.

      Second, I re-did Eno’s pitch benchmarks to reflect serviceable pitches, not just above average.

      Basically on Miley, he needs to dump the 4-seamer and use the 2-seamer more which he has:|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&pFilt=FA|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&time=month&minmax=ci&var=pcount&s_type=2&endDate=01/01/2015&startDate=01/01/2013

      His 2-seamer gets more swinging strikes and groundballs compared to the 4-seamer (in 2014 and career). IMO, he should just dump the 4-seamser.

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  4. kman says:

    Also, what are your thoughts on Ryan Braun ROS? After that scare at the beginning of the season with his thumb, he’s made out quite well, besides for some non-thumb related injuries. It seemed all he needed was a day or two off every few weeks to let the thumb calm down and he’d be okay. I’m asking because I was just offered Kinsler for him straight up and debating what to do.

    If you’re curious, Braun would be replaced by Aramis Ramirez in my lineup. Kinsler would replace Scooter Gennett

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  5. Gargar says:

    Jose Alvarez at #1 with improvement in velo and rates is some kind of mistake, right?

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  6. Daniel W says:

    Hey, that’s not fair about CC’s 4.78 ERA. His xFIP and SIERA were a full run lower.

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  7. Jay says:

    Can’t remember if Chris Davis has been on the HURT list before but a hidden injury (or having not recovered from his previous injury that he missed time for) could certainly explain the massive decline in his numbers this year.

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  8. Greg says:

    I know Votto looks and is injured but his BABIP is way down from years past, his batted ball distance is up and yet his hr rate is way down. So, isn’t a part of his crappy numbers explainable from bad luck? Is a ROS of 285 BA and 10 HR out of the question?

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  9. Punk says:

    Thoughts on Josh Donaldson? Sat out today with back soreness, and he’s been in a horrific slump. What is your outlook rest of season?

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  10. Chicago Mark says:

    The article states 3-4 years or ~650 innings between TJS. Are you saying that 100% of pitchers who have the surgery have it again within 3-4 years? If not, what is the rate at which pitchers re-injure and need it again?
    Good stuff as usual Jeff. Happy Fourth

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      The re-injure rate is not known and as I note in the article, it is an area of future study.

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      • Chicago Mark says:

        Thanks for the reply Jeff. 8:05 Pm, DAMN, you should have been watching fireworks. I’m looking forward to that study.
        Thanks for the good stuff.

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