MASH Report (3/28/16)

• Injury information is being reported more frequently, but with fewer details. Make sure you check the spreadsheet at the bottom for the latest details as I wasn’t able to write a blurb on every player. If you want more information, click on the “Source with Link” date for the player’s latest article.

Ryan Braun and David Wright look to be couple headaches for their owners in leagues with Weekly lineups. It has been reported each will not be playing full time and take days off when needed. The playing time in weekly leagues may drive an owner nuts. They may drive owners in daily lineup leagues also nuts, but, at least, those owners can move them out of the lineup if they aren’t playing. They may be bought on the cheap a month or two into the season when their owners are tired of dealing with them.

• The Dodgers will probably have Howie Kendrick, Yasmani Grandal, and Alex Guerrero all on the DL to start the season.

On Sunday, Roberts indicated that second baseman Howie Kendrick (left calf) will definitely remain in Arizona rehabbing when the club leaves for California on Wednesday. CatcherYasmani Grandal (strained right forearm) and infielder Alex Guerrero (strained left knee) are likely to stay back as well. Any of them could open the season on the disabled list.

The Dodger’s health status is a mess. I feel we aren’t even getting all the details as there are so many injuries for the Dodgers and reporters to track.

• I have been trying to update spring training velocity readings on this spreadsheet. One bit of news which is little concerning is Jacob deGrom’s fastball has averaged around 92 mph his last couple of starts. I will closely monitor his first regular season start to see if it increases.

Will Smith will miss a good chunk of the season with a torn lateral collateral ligament in his knee.

Manager Craig Counsell indicated on Saturday that Smith should heal in time to pitch later this season, but the injury left Jeremy Jeffress to handle closer duties while Smith recovers. Smith is scheduled to consult in the coming days with the Brewers’ head physician, Dr. William Raasch, to determine whether surgery is required.
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Smith’s timeline for recovery will hinge on whether he undergoes surgery, but he faces an extended rehab either way. Counsell, however, said the early prognosis is that Smith will not miss the entire season.

We should know more about his recovery and timeline any day now.

A.J. Pollock may start the season on the DL. He just isn’t getting enough at-bats to get ready for the season.

D-backs manager Chip Hale mentioned — for the first time — the possibility of All-Star center fielder A.J. Pollock starting the season on the disabled list.

Soreness in Pollock’s right elbow has kept him out since March 8, and he has just eight official at-bats this spring.

“There’s always fear, yeah,” Hale said on Saturday. “He has to get enough at-bats to feel ready. We’re getting to that point where we want him to play pretty much every day and get at-bats. So if that’s not possible, then maybe the DL is the option.”

Homer Bailey is following an aggressive timeline with his Tommy John surgery return

Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedic surgeon who conducts most of the Tommy John surgeries, said last year research now shows that the closer a pitcher rehabs to the full 18 months, the less likely it is he’ll have to undergo the surgery a second time.

Andrews said 50 percent of all Tommy John patients have to have the surgery again, putting their baseball careers at greater risk.

Andrews didn’t operate on Bailey. Dr. Timothy Kremchek, the Reds’ renowned medical director, performed the surgery and is overseeing Bailey’s recovery. Cincinnati is obviously taking a much more aggressive approach with a pitcher who has four years remaining on a six-year contact, worth $105 million.

Bailey said he’s comfortable with the current timeline, considering the consequences.

I am not going to guess if this quicker than normal return will work or not. What I am worried about is teams using it as a precedence to bump up or move back the TJS timeline based on how one pitcher performed.

Jonathan Gray will likely miss the first couple of weeks with a strained abdomen.

Javier Baez is dealing with a sore thumb. It doesn’t seem like he will go on the DL, but his playing time may be limited to start the season.

Jordan Walden isn’t going to get enough mound time in Spring Training, so he will likely be DL bound.

Blaine Hardy will miss some time as he is dealing with shoulder impingement.

R.J. Alvarez will be out an unknown time after having bone spurs removed.

• Monitor Marco Estrada as he tries to navigate through some back pain.

• Milwaukee’s Zack Jones will spend the rest of the entire next month on a rehab assignment. He is probably not hurt enough to warrant the entire month, but the extra time will give the Brewers to the opportunity to evaluate him and then decided to keep him or send him back to the Twins.

• All signs point to Matt Wieters being ready for Opening Day. He may not 100% healthy, but he will be playing.

• Next week, “The Arm” by Jeff Passan comes out which looks Tommy John surgeries in detail. Today, he released an excert from the book focusing on Kyle Boddy’s Driveline program. Kyle gives an update on the material since Jeff got the material for the book.

• Recently, Bradley Woodrum created a formula for determining the chances a pitcher has Tommy John surgery at MLBtraderumors.com. One item bugged me which was right-handed pitchers are more likely to have the surgery. Here is his statement:

LHP = 1: MLB pitching staffs have been 28% left-handed since 2010. TJS victims are 25% left-handed. Throwing the ball with your right hand — unlike Tommy John, the original — is the first tiny red flag.

I checked his numbers and they lineup, but I would like to take the research a step further. First, he looked at the number of left and right-handed pitchers. The innings thrown by left-handed pitchers is a bit lower than the number of pitchers: 26.9% vs 28%. The rates come together a bit more. One other issue is right-handed pitchers threw harder (87.5 mph) than left-handed pitchers (86.0mph ) thereby increasing the stress on their arms. While the formula will likely keep left-handed pitchers as a flag, I don’t think handedness is a factor.

Players on the 2016 DL

The Red players have had updates since the last report. Click on the “Date” for a link to go to the latest article on the player.

Players possibly on the DL in 2016

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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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agree with you Jeff on handedness, makes no sense why that’d be a factor. true factor would be velocity being higher because righties typically throw harder than lefties.