Help Needed: Hitters Who Played Through a 2022 Injury

So it is time for the annual article examing how hitters performed who didn’t let an injury heal and played through the pain. Whether these hitters cause permanent damage to their bodies or pick up bad habits, they continue to underperform their projections. Besides tallying the results, I have started collecting next year’s player list.

I first determined the decline in an article covering 2017 to 2019 and have continued collecting names and results (2020 and 2021).

So here is how the hitters who played through a 2021 injury performed compared to their 2022 projection.

Performance of Hitters Who Played Through a 2021 Injury
Name (injury) Steamer Proj Actual Difference
Alex Bregman (lower body) .865 .820 -.045
Alex Kirilloff (wrist) .800 .651 -.149
Alex Verdugo (leg) .802 .733 -.069
Anthony Rendon (hip) .840 .706 -.134
Anthony Santander (knee) .763 .773 .010
Bryce Harper (wrist) .934 .878 -.056
Byron Buxton (patellar tendinitis/hand) .838 .832 -.006
Cavan Biggio (hand & back) .744 .668 -.076
Chris Taylor (neck) .751 .677 -.074
Christian Yelich (back) .833 .738 -.095
Cody Bellinger (shoulder) .811 .654 -.157
Curt Casali (wrist) .666 .649 -.017
Daz Cameron (toe) .711 .630 -.081
DJ LeMahieu (hernia) .773 .734 -.039
Dominic Smith (shoulder) .752 .560 -.192
George Springer (knee) .845 .814 -.031
Gio Urshela (knee) .729 .767 .038
Hunter Dozier (hand) .722 .679 -.043
J.D. Davis (hand) .762 .758 -.004
J.T. Realmuto (shoulder) .766 .820 .054
Jake Cronenworth (finger) .783 .727 -.056
Jonathan India (shoulder) .804 .705 -.099
Jorge Mateo (back) .661 .646 -.015
Josh Donaldson (calf) .844 .682 -.162
Ke’Bryan Hayes (wrist) .760 .659 -.101
Kolten Wong (oblique) .747 .769 .022
Kyle Farmer (abdominal) .712 .701 -.011
Luis Robert (hip) .850 .745 -.105
Luke Voit (knee) .803 .710 -.093
Manny Machado (shoulder) .858 .897 .039
Mike Moustakas (plantar fasciitis) .776 .640 -.136
Mike Yastrzemski (hand) .772 .697 -.075
Mookie Betts (shoulder/back & hip) .866 .873 .007
Nick Senzel (knee) .770 .602 -.168
Rhys Hoskins (back) .847 .794 -.053
Stephen Piscotty (wrist) .690 .593 -.097
Tom Murphy (shoulder) .687 .894 .207
Tommy Pham (stabbing) .799 .686 -.113
Trevor Larnach (shoulder) .714 .712 -.002
Trevor Story (shoulder) .786 .737 -.049
Ty France (wrist) .803 .777 -.026
Wil Myers (knee) .742 .713 -.029
Willy Adames (quadricep) .776 .756 -.020
Xander Bogaerts (wrist) .830 .833 .003
Yadier Molina (foot) .683 .535 -.148
Average -.054
Median -.053
Adjusted to run environment Average -.021
Median -.020

In one of the above studies, the hitters underperformed by 17 OPS points and 23 points in the other. These guys split the historical difference down the middle and missed their projections by 20 points. Again, playing through an injury is not a reason to ignore a player since some are stars, but more of a slight downgrade when comparing to similar hitters.

I’ve started collecting players who were known (reference link included) to play through an injury.

Hitters Who Played Through a 2022 Injury
Some more:
Again, let me know in the comments if anyone else needs to be included, preferably with links. Here are some guys who MAY have played through an injury but I couldn’t verify. In most cases, they were hurt but sat for a few games or were placed in the IL.
Hitters Who MAY Have Played Through a 2022 Injury
Name Injury
Anthony Rizzo back
Chris Taylor neck
Eric Hosmer back
Gavin Lux neck
J.D. Martinez back
Jose Altuve shoulder
Josh Naylor ankle/back
Manny Machado ankle
Max Kepler UNK
Nick Castellanos foot
Starling Marte Groin
Tommy La Stella Achilles
Ty France calf or elbow
Wander Franco hamate

Thanks for the help and I will add more players once they are verified.





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 four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR twice, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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rsimmons07
3 months ago

Ketel Marte: https://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/mlb/diamondbacks/2022/10/04/gm-hazen-d-backs-looking-more-ketel-marte-2023/8182442001/

General Manager Mike Hazen said he appreciated the fact that Marte “grinded” to stay in the lineup despite injuries, including a pair of stretches in which he served as the designated hitter while a tender hamstring recovered.”