MASH Report (8/4/14)

• I have had a couple people ask if Adam Wainwright is hurt. Going through some signs, he may just be.

First, he is in the window for needing a second Tommy John surgery after his one in 2011. Here is a description of when a second operation is needed from some of my previous work.

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.

Wainwright is at 3 years and 530 IP. Next season looks likes he may be in the sweet spot for another operation if he needs one.

Additionally, his fastball velocity is down .9 mph from 2013.

His Zone% has been trending down the few weeks.

It may be time to trade high with Wainwright. Maybe straight up for King Felix?

Stuart Wallace at Beyond The Box Score goes into detail on Michael Wacha‘s stress injury and how his release point may be the cause.

Longer term, if McCarthy is any indication, Wacha’s future remains less concrete, as the possibility of a flare-up or a full-blown fracture sustained still looms large. Even with a worst case scenario, a recurrence of the injury still lends itself to be one that will allow Wacha to be productive, albeit in spurts. Whether Wacha nips the scapular issues in the bud for good remains to be seen; the impact of his pitching mechanics and his adherence to them, despite their potential for incurring shoulder issues, remain in question.

Wacha’s 2014 value could be all over the place. I am guessing someone else will over value Wacha compared to how I value him.

• The reasons to own Corey Hart are slim and none. His knees have never been right all season.

Hart has had to play the outfield more since the Mariners traded for designated hitter Kendrys Morales on July 24, and he says that extra time exposed the lingering issue of knees that underwent a pair of microfracture surgeries that forced him to miss all of last year with the Brewers.

“It’s nice to be back and part of a competitive team, and I love the group,” Hart said. “But I think I was trying to give myself false hope. The legs were never there. Hopefully, they get back sooner than later. I’d love to come back pretty quick and be competitive, but right now, I’m not competitive and that’s because I haven’t had the legs to help me. Hopefully, these guys get it fixed pretty quick.”
“I woke up feeling pretty bad, but I still wanted to play,” Hart said. “It’s been going on for a little bit. My legs, when I play the field, the next day is really rough. I kept trying to fight it, but it got to the point where I was tired of hitting balls and they weren’t going anywhere because I don’t have legs. That just kind of put it over the top. I probably shouldn’t have played yesterday, but I was still trying to find it.”

I think he is droppable in all formats. His 2015 draft value could even be less than his 2014 draft value. He’s going to unproductive

• Phanton DL Move Alert: Felix Doubront with a calf sprain.  No mention of injury before or after the trade. Just talk of fixing him.

“Sometimes guys need a change of scenery,” Hoyer said. “He’s been pitching in the American League East. He’s had moments when he’s pitched real well. Obviously, he’s been struggling, that’s no secret to us.

“Sometimes you get a guy, a change of scenery, different coaches, different ballpark, different league, you hope that clicks together,” Hoyer said. “He’s got good stuff and has potential, and hopefully we can bring out the best in him.”
There’s no timetable for when Doubront will join the Cubs.

“Once he gets healthy and is able to rehab and we can stretch him back out, we’ll see how the rest of the year works,” Hoyer said.

Well, they do mention “healthy” which to me means “doesn’t throw like crap”. This move gives the Cubs a chance to work with him on some issues and when they are done he will be “healthy”.

Fastball Velocity Watch for Pitchers Returning From the DL

James Paxton‘s average fastball velocity looks fine. Additionally, he had a > 50% GB% in his one start since coming off the DL. Nice buy low candidate especially with his post return game results not being the best (2 Runs in only 4 IP).

Jason Vargas‘s velocity is fine.

C.J. Wilson‘s velocity is at a 3 year low, I would stay away for now.

Justin Masterson‘s sinker is comparable to his previous 2014 levels.

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

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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 (8/4/14)”

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  1. Jim says:

    How has G.Cole looked in his rehab/ bullpens? Is there any reason to be concerned? What should we expect for the ROS?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Not good so far. He was supposed to be doing MiLB rehab starts, but instead was sent to bullpen (link in spreadsheet).

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  2. James says:

    In what league can you get Felix for Waino straight up??

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    • Sosa says:

      Oh look, my comment has already been posted for me. Seriously though, what non-Cardinals homer league has owners making that deal straight up at this point?

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      I hadn’t noticed Felix’s ERA had dropped so low (even though I own him and have been trying to move him for hitting).

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  3. geo says:

    Any way you can set your tables up to “freeze” the column headings? It would be nice if they didn’t disappear when I scroll down.

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  4. jfree says:

    re TJ epidemic

    Was wondering whether anyone else has heard that one of the causes for the increased elbow problems is the (basically) elimination of pitchers pitching in a windup. They all basically pitch from the stretch now and are coached that way starting really young. But pitching that way really forces all forward momentum to be generated by the arms and upper body – so why would it be surprising if the weak link up there is the body part that breaks?

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    • big red machine says:

      Is there even 1 starting pitcher who DOESN’T use the windup whenever possible?

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      • jfree says:

        Look at video of pitchers now v older ones (pre-pitch count) like Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, etc. Just because they still call it a windup doesn’t mean it’s the same thing.

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  5. Mike Wimmer says:

    Between Cuddyer and Wil Myers, who do you like more the ROS? Each should be back sometime in the middle of the month and both are coming off injuries that give me concern about hitters.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      I would take Cuddyer on the park, but like you said it will be close.

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  6. Chicago Mark says:

    Good stuff as usual Zimm. Do you see anything with Josh Beckett that raises red flags? His results since returning from the dl have not been good. High pitch counts and low results.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      No red flags (Zone% or Velocity), just bad results. I don’t like seeing a pitcher throw curves over 25% of the time, not alone 32% before he got hurt (down to 24% since returning).

      People shouldn’t expect his .234 BABIP to continue.

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  7. Shauntell says:

    I have Wainwright in a keeper league. I was thinking of trading him for someone like Greinke or Lester. What do you think?

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    • JMo37 says:

      MAybe Lester, but I think I would wait a while.

      This is a observation, not a fact.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      I like the move more Lester, but it is a bit of a crap shoot with aging pitchers.

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