MASH Report (9/16/13)

Lots of decent information today.

Miguel Cabrera is hurting and it is killing his bat speed (source)

“All that stuff has affected my offensive numbers,” Cabrera said. “My swing is not as fast as it normally is, and those are things that you must face on a daily basis. But that won’t keep me from going out on the field and trying to help this team win ballgames.”

Cabrera has been definitely slower with his bat. Here is the average angle of all home runs, fly ball and line drives which have come off his bat this year (-45 is the left field line and +45 is the right field line).

Cabrera is just not the same (.219/.359/.250 in September) and if a person is looking for the key for his turn around, look to see if he begins to pull the ball again.

Stephen Strasburg is dealing with some arm injuries. All hard throwing pitchers who had Tommy John Surgery end up with more injuries in 2-3 seasons. Strasburg just seems a little ahead of schedule.

David Wright is trying to come back this season. I just don’t see any reason. My best guess is he is trying winning the National League Silver Slugger Award and a $100K contract bonus for it.

Pitchers Returning from the DL

David Phelps‘ velocity looked fine.

Jeremy Affeldt‘s was a on the low end.

Josh Tomlin‘s velocity looked good.

General Reading

• Diamondbacks may need to reevaluate how they handle elbow injuries.

Anthony Castrovince at MLB.com looked at strategies teams have used to limit arm injuries. While here are some of the highlights, I would recommend everyone read the entire article:

“I’m certain we’re going to look back on what we did here in 2012, 2013 and not too far into the future and think that it was really primitive,” said Dr. Marcus Elliott, a Harvard-trained physician specializing in sports science.

The key here was personalizing the programs, suiting them to a certain guy’s certain needs. It is a goal Dr. Glenn Fleisig, research director of the American Sports Medicine Institute, has also sought in his biomechanical studies of thousands of pitchers from all amateur and professional levels.

But the problem with these studies is that their findings are difficult — and expensive — to implement in organizations that employ literally hundreds of players. In baseball, it is easier to take broad preparatory concepts and apply them at large, rather than tailoring them to the individual.

I completely agree. Not every pitcher can be lumped in with every other one. Tom Seaver has recently stated that pitchers don’t throw enough, but in a talk I had with Ralph Terry, whose career was cut short by injuries, stated he wished he was on a five man rotation. The extra day off would have been huge for him.

[Dereck] Johnson has spent his first season in the Cubs’ system visiting the various affiliates and gleaning an understanding of the personnel. His goal in the future will be to implement programs that train arms to absorb the stress placed on them in-game and to do so on an individualized basis.
“That’s the tough part,” Johnson said. “Any strength trainer or athletic trainer will tell you guys are built differently. Where baseball is at now is: We bean count. We count pitches, we count innings. I think if that were that easy, you’d see a lot less injuries.”
….
“If the pitching coach has good understanding of the training and conditioning, and the athletic and strength trainer have a working understanding of the mechanics, then you’ve got three people working in unison on this guy and not taking two steps forward and one back, which probably ends up happening way more than it should.”

Johnson states the entire staff and player needs to be on the same boat with injury prevention. With some teams, no one seems to be together (see Washington Nationals) and injuries just continue to pile up.

PAIN (Pitcher Abuse INdex) Rankings (min 200 pitches in Sept to the rest of the 2013 season)

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

Name PAIN Velocity (Apr – Aug) Zone% (Apr-Aug) Velocity(Sep) Velocity(Sep)
Steve Cishek 404.3 92.4 52.5% 90.8 32.1%
Jeff Francis 297.3 85.5 48.7% 85.0 32.7%
Josh Outman 253.0 92.4 47.1% 91.9 34.3%
Charlie Morton 245.1 92.8 47.3% 92.2 34.9%
Lucas Harrell 243.7 91.9 40.4% 90.6 32.1%
Oliver Perez 236.3 92.5 54.3% 91.1 42.5%
Clay Buchholz 235.4 90.8 48.3% 88.9 40.0%
Roy Halladay 225.6 87.6 45.8% 86.7 36.0%
Rob Wooten 223.4 87.0 45.1% 86.0 35.6%
Dane de la Rosa 195.3 93.9 55.0% 94.5 39.8%
Cesar Ramos 195.2 91.1 46.8% 91.8 33.8%
Edward Mujica 191.0 88.9 54.1% 87.1 46.2%
Michael Blazek 191.0 95.1 40.5% 93.8 35.1%
Burch Smith 184.2 92.6 58.1% 91.1 48.7%
Mike Leake 179.1 89.4 50.2% 89.7 38.0%
Dale Thayer 175.7 92.8 54.8% 92.7 43.0%
Paul Clemens 173.9 93.7 49.6% 90.8 47.3%
Luis Mendoza 166.5 91.5 42.4% 91.0 35.8%
Preston Claiborne 164.0 92.8 46.1% 91.7 40.3%
Zach Miner 159.2 91.6 42.1% 91.3 35.1%
Kevin Gregg 151.5 89.6 46.1% 89.3 38.8%
Nick Tepesch 150.9 90.9 48.4% 91.7 36.8%
Jake Dunning 150.2 90.5 49.1% 89.8 41.8%
Sergio Romo 148.3 87.7 43.1% 86.9 37.9%
Carter Capps 147.6 95.4 51.3% 95.8 40.6%
Tony Sipp 143.9 90.3 43.9% 90.2 36.7%
Ryan Pressly 141.1 92.9 48.4% 93.4 38.5%
David Carpenter 140.0 95.0 53.5% 95.2 42.9%
Ivan Nova 134.9 93.3 44.9% 92.0 41.7%
Ethan Martin 132.6 92.8 44.6% 92.9 37.5%
Tim Collins 132.4 93.0 50.7% 92.8 42.7%
Danny Farquhar 130.9 92.1 48.0% 91.5 41.9%
Craig Breslow 130.0 89.7 43.7% 90.3 35.6%
Aaron Loup 129.9 91.4 52.6% 92.8 39.6%
J.C. Ramirez 127.1 94.2 55.2% 93.3 48.2%
Brandon Kintzler 123.9 92.1 48.3% 92.6 39.4%
Brad Brach 121.8 90.8 45.8% 90.8 39.2%
J.P. Howell 119.7 87.3 43.1% 87.5 36.8%
Danny Duffy 118.8 93.4 51.4% 93.3 43.8%
Neil Wagner 117.6 95.8 51.6% 95.7 44.0%
Tommy Milone 113.6 86.9 46.6% 87.3 39.1%
Wade Miley 112.7 90.9 46.8% 91.0 40.4%
Tyler Clippard 112.2 91.5 49.0% 90.5 44.7%
Stephen Fife 110.3 89.3 52.6% 89.3 44.8%
Aaron Harang 110.0 89.8 49.5% 88.7 45.5%
Julio Teheran 109.7 91.4 53.3% 91.0 46.5%
Drew Smyly 108.2 89.0 47.8% 89.1 41.1%
Gonzalez Germen 106.5 92.8 41.9% 93.1 36.5%
Donnie Veal 106.3 92.5 41.4% 93.4 34.6%
Boone Logan 106.1 93.6 44.4% 93.6 39.2%
Koji Uehara 104.9 85.1 55.8% 84.7 48.4%
C.J. Wilson 104.3 90.8 48.3% 90.5 42.9%
Ryan Mattheus 102.9 91.4 44.3% 90.7 41.1%
Addison Reed 101.5 92.8 54.1% 92.6 46.9%
Matt Moore 101.1 92.4 46.6% 92.2 41.6%
Luis Avilan 100.5 93.1 42.8% 92.8 39.2%

• I tried to find any pitchers who have really struggled this month. I would not be too concerned about drops in Zone% unless there are other signs of a pitcher struggling.

Clay Buchholz doesn’t seem 100% yet. His velocity is down 1 mph from earlier in the season and he is having all kinds of problems finding the strike zone.

Edward Mujica has struggled quite a bit in September (8.31 ERA, 5.58 FIP). Compared to the rest of the season, his fastball is down almost 2 mph in September and he is also having problems finding the strike zone.

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.

Unofficial DL List

Official DL List




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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.


3 Responses to “MASH Report (9/16/13)”

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  1. Kevin says:

    The strasburg comment, that hard throwing pitchers who get TJ develop other injuries within 2-3 years, is that in reference to another article or study elsewhere? Can someone point me in that direction?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Sorry, I have brought it up a couple of times before. I looked at in last year’s Hardball Times Annual. Basically, no starting pitcher who has thrown >94 mph has made it 2-3 without another major arm injury.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. That Guy says:

    Disabled List List?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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