MASH Report (3/30/15)

• With everyone focusing on the increase in Tommy John operations, it is nice to see Rob Arthur look at how shoulder surgeries are on the decline (great graph).

• Well, a couple of players we expect to get hurt sometime during the season couldn’t even make it to Opening Day healthy. Carlos Gonzalez’s surgically repaired knee was feeling pain. He is supposed to be back today, but who knows how often his bum knee will keep flaring up.

Jaime Garcia is another player which can be counted on for a DL stint or four. Right now his arm is feeling sore and fatigued. He is out of the Cardinals rotation until he starts to feel better.

J.J. Hardy’s shoulder is jammed after colliding with Jonathan Schoop in a recent game. According to Hardy, he should be ready by opening day.

He has a week before the games count for real, however, and doesn’t envision this as a situation that would require a trip to the disabled list.

“At this point, the way I feel, the way that it improved over the last few days, yeah, I feel pretty good about it,” he said. “It would be tough [to play today], but I’d definitely try. Maybe I’d have to do a shot or something, but I feel pretty good about it.”

I want to see him playing in the field first. Everth Cabrera is now even more of a deep league option.

Justin Verlander is officially hurt with some arm tightness. Verlander down plays every injury he has, so I expect this injury to affect him for a while.

Matt Cain is on the path to pitching in the majors and feeling 100% healthy. His velocity looks OK from reports.

Scouts had Cain’s four-seam fastball at 91 to 93 mph and his two-seam fastball at 89 and 90. Nobody saw any kinks in the arm action.

I am definitely not “all in” with him yet, but I would improve his projections.

Alex Rios aggravated a thumb which he had surgery on last year. The team and him say all is fine, but I don’t really relieve them. He could have been a nice bounce back candidate.

Brandon League will try to rehab his shoulder instead of getting season ending surgery.

Brandon League said he was initially “devastated” to learn he had a significant right shoulder injury, but quickly decided he would accept a two-month rehab in an attempt to avoid surgery that would likely end his season before it begins.

“It was kind of devastating, but I’m past that point,” said League, who was examined by Drs. Neal ElAttrache and James Andrews Friday in Las Vegas, where they were attending an or-thopedic surgeons convention. “I had time to sulk on the hour flight. I’ve got goals in mind.”

Christian Vazquez will miss some time because he had an MRI on his elbow found “something”.

Domonic Brown (tendinitis) thinks he will be ready for Opening Day, but the team says no.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg expressed doubts Brown will be ready by Opening Day, although Brown seemed optimistic.

In cases like these, always side with the team’s estimates.

Casey Janssen’s shoulder is not wanting to loosen up and no one knows for sure what the exact cause is. It seems one of my favorite sleepers, Blake Treinen may now be the Nationals setup man.

Janssen signed a one-year deal with the Nationals on Jan. 28 to become the team’s setup man, replacing Tyler Clippard, who was traded to the Athletics for second baseman Yunel Escobar. If Janssen is not ready for Opening Day, it would not come as a surprise to see right-hander Blake Treinen pitch the eighth inning.

• It looks like Josh Reddick will miss some time to start the season with a strained oblique.

David Lough will like start the season on the DL with lower back spasms.

• Here is an article explaining the Nationals approach on dealing with Zimmermann and Strasburg and Tommy John surgeries.

But the Nats hate and fear Surgery No. 2 because they — and others — think it has an awful chance of saving a career — perhaps 20 percent. Just last season, the Braves were devastated when starsKris Medlen and Brandon Beachy required a second elbow ligament replacement surgery. Atlanta gave up, releasing them both.


Players with Injuries Going into 2015

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

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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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Rufus T. Firefly
Rufus T. Firefly

Wouldn’t Aaron Barrett become the Nats main set-up man ahead of Treinan?


and not the “Phillies” setup man

Does anyone proofread these things?


Earlier this spring, he apparently pitched in a Yankees-Phillies game, too: