MASH Report (12/15/14)

• Some different takes exist on Garrett Richards return from knee surgery. They range from opening day to the mid-May.

Garrett Richards, who underwent surgery in August for a torn tendon in his left knee, was cleared by doctors Monday to begin throwing, and his agent said the right-hander was “on track” to be ready by the 2015 season opener.
“I don’t think we’re going to see Garrett on opening day, but I think the prognosis of having him back somewhere in the first month to six weeks of the season looks very good,” Scioscia said at the winter meetings. “We’ll see. It’s not something we can rush.”
“Mike is preparing for the worst-case scenario, which is more his nature,” Dipoto said. “We understood it would be a six- to nine-month [recovery]. Mike sleeps better at night planning for it to be the latter of the two. We believe Garrett will be back if not on opening day, then at some point in the not-too-distant future.”

I bet the Angels are making plans in case Richards is not ready, Scioscia let the info out of the bag and Dipoto is doing some damage control. Right now, I would side with Scioscia and be on the conservative side.

Brandon Moss could miss a bit of time to start the 2015 season because of his hip surgery.

Regarding Moss’s right hip surgery in October and his status for the April 6 season opener, Antonetti said the surgery was done by Dr. Richard Byrd, a specialist in the field.

“The surgery has a very high success rate,” said Antonetti. “His rehab has gone well to date. Our expectation at this point is that he’ll be ready to go by the start of the season if not shortly thereafter.”

Matt Harvey may “have” to go on the DL with fatigue during the 2015 season.

The Mets would consider placing ace Matt Harvey on the disabled list this summer if it helps extend his season into October – should New York make the playoffs.

”If he’s a little ouchy then that’s always a possibility,” general manager Sandy Alderson said Sunday, the day before the winter meetings were to begin at a bayside hotel here. ”Fatigue can manifest itself in ways that warrant a disabled list. … We’ll just have to see how he does.”

Harvey is rehabbing from October 2013 elbow surgery, and has said he is on board with New York’s plan to manage his innings next season.

I think 25 starts is number I would put him at right now, but could go up a few depending on how he performs during spring training.

Nick Markakis may need neck surgery after signing with the Braves. His neck has bothered him over the last couple of seasons.

Both parties appear to understand the potential long-term benefits of a surgical procedure. Markakis would like to avoid the sporadic discomfort he has felt while dealing with a herniated disc in his neck the past two seasons. The Braves obviously hope the procedure would allow him to re-establish himself as the kind of player he was before the neck started to become an issue in 2013.

When asked about his neck while speaking to reporters at Turner Field on Friday morning, Markakis hinted toward the possibility of undergoing the surgical procedure, which might require three months of recovery.

Hopefully for fantasy owners, a decision will come soon.

Denard Span underwent surgery for a sports hernia in which he will need six weeks to recover from.

Nationals center fielder Denard Span underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia, the team announced on Wednesday. He is expected to be ready for Spring Training, and Span said he plans to be 100 percent in six weeks.

Span suffered the injury toward the end of the season, but it wasn’t enough to miss any games, including the postseason against the Giants. After the season ended, Span thought rest would help ease the pain. It didn’t go away, however, after he started training for the 2015 season.

Brett Lawrie is ready to be off the turf in Toronto.

“It treats my body kind of silly and throws it off,” he said this week during a conference call with Bay Area media, adding later: “I really do feel that turf has a lot to do with (all the injuries). I’m wound tight, my body is wound tight just being a high-energy guy and being a quick-twitch guy, so for me being on that turf and bouncing around and whatnot, I hear people just saying from walking on it or standing on it from opposing teams, ‘Man, we were only in there for three days but my body feels terrible.’

The Blue Jays admit the previous field surface was worn and is now getting replaced.

Installation of the new AstroTurf 3D Xtreme, the next generation of their old carpet with redesigned grass fibres, is scheduled to start Jan. 23 and should be completed by early March. While it’s far from ideal, the new rug is slated to serve as a stop-gap until Rogers Centre can be retrofitted for natural grass, a process slated for 2018.

• Sounds like Bobby Parnell will be the Mets closer once he is 100% healthy.

Stressing that the closer’s job is “Bobby’s to lose” but also noting that Bobby Parnell could ac-tually begin the season on the disabled list, manager Terry Collins painted the picture of a wide-open closer’s competition heading into Spring Training.

Parnell, who underwent Tommy John surgery in April after making his only appearance of the season on Opening Day, has looked “absolutely tremendous” working out this offsea-son, according to Collins. But the Mets do not expect Parnell to climb atop a mound until the end of January, meaning that he will miss much of the Grapefruit League schedule. That sets up Parnell not only to begin the year on the DL, but to require frequent rest days once he is ready to pitch.

Parnell looks like a nice DL stash to start the season with for possible Saves later.

• Shane Victorino sort of, kind of, may be ready to go for spring training.

The Red Sox don’t have quite the same kind of clarity yet on Shane Victorino, who underwent back surgery in August.

“He’s in a good place physically and mentally right now,” said Farrell. “The volume is going to be our guide on how he responds to that. Everything points to him being on the field and in full baseball activity when camp starts up.”

• Dodger reliever, Chris Withrow had a herniated disk fixed in his lower back. He plans on returning in the middle of 2015 since he is also recovering from Tommy John surgery.

(*) 15 Day Disabled List
(**) 60 Day Disabled List
(***) 7 Day Concussion List
(****) Free Agent
Red colored entries are updates since last report.

Players with Injuries Going into 2015

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Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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“Kind of ouchy.” Thanks for the detailed analysis, Sandy.