MASH Report (3/4/13)

I have been working my way through Dr. James Andrew’s book, Any Given Monday. Here are his top seven myths surrounding sports medicine.

#1: Tommy John surgery will improve pitching performance.

A few quotes on this subject

I cannot be clearer about this: There is nothing that sports medicine can do for a throwing arm that is better than how the good Lord created it. There is no surgery that enhances performance. It simply doesn’t exist. If the body entered this world whole and healthy, you can never repair something in the body to make it better than its original condition. It’s just not possible. Cutting something always makes it weaker. I cannot stress this enough: A healthy pitching arm will always be more stable and more capable than one that has been operated on.

On pitchers come back throwing better

Yes it is true that many pitchers do see an upswing in their pitching speeds after undergoing the surgery….Pitching improves because of the type of reconditioning and physical therapy that the athlete undergoes as he heals from the procedure.

#2: Certain other orthopedic surgeries will actually increase overall joint capabilities and, ultimately, performance.

See Myth 1

#3: There is sufficient medical oversight in scholastic athletic leagues.

#4: No pain, no gain.

To put it bluntly, no child or teen should ever play with pain. Period. If the body is alerting the brain that something is wrong, the brain should listen. Parents, coaches, and players all need to remember that nothing is more important than the the athlete’s health.

#5: The earlier a child begins a sport and the more he or she practices, the better the chances are for a scholarship or professional career.

While I am certainly an advocate of organized sports, this level [four to five hours a day] of intensity at such a young age is neither healthy or beneficial to the child’s overall health and long-term career prospects….Variance in motion is far more beneficial to a child than concentrated and repetitive instruction at a young age.

#6: Fast-pitch softball, with its windmill delivery, can’t produce injuries to the thrower’s shoulder or elbow.

Pitching limits matter in softball as much as they do in baseball.

#7: The sooner the problem can be diagnosed, the sooner the athlete can return to the game.

Sometimes the problem faced by young athletes is not an injury at all — it’s burnout … They recognize that their parents or coaches or siblings might not react well to the news that they don’t want a future in the sport, so they read up on injuries that would force them to take some time off. They know the causes, they know the symptoms, they know the right complaint to get them out of the starting lineup and into the doctor’s office – anything for a break. And I don’t blame them.

Recent injury data

 • Chris Perez has a strained right shoulder. He is off for 7-10 days and will likely not be ready for the start of the season.

 • Martin Perez is out with a broken forearm and won’t begin throwing for 4 weeks. He will likely return, at the earliest, in early May.

 • Matt Garza will start the season on the DL and says he will be ready by April. This injury has been full of the return date getting pushed back and back. I would not be surprised if it gets pushed back again.

 • Carl Crawford is unlikely to be ready for opening day according to Dodgers manager, Don Mattingly. Replacement pool contains Hairston, Castellanos and Schumaker.

 • Looks like Johan Santana will not be ready by opening day. Like Garza, Don’t expect it to be the last time his date is pushed back.

 • Frank Francisco, elbow inflammation, will likely not be the Mets closer on opening day. Bobby Parnell will likely get the closer role and can keep it if he is effective stated Terry Collins.

 • Ryan Zimmerman is making progress after shoulder surgery.

 • David Ortiz is still having problems with his Achilles tendon. He easily may not be ready for opening day with more information to be coming out within the next few days.

 • Christian Garcia may miss opening day because of a partially torn tendon. He was vying for 5th starter position with the Nationals. Garcia’s career has been full of injuries including two TJ surgeries.

Here is some great medical lingo from the article

The Nationals had been calling Garcia’s ailment a “strain,” and the partial-tear diagnosis is only a more specific label — all strains are small tears.

 • Chad Billingsley’s fastball speed is at 2012 levels (91.6 mph on Saturday). He is trying to pitch with a torn UCL.

 • Russell Martin is dealing with a sore right shoulder.

 • Franklin Gutierrez is feeling healthy after being on the DL four times during the last 2 seasons.

Player Return Timetables

Name Injury Injury/Surgery Date Early Return Date Later Return date Status Source(s)
Scott Baker TJS 4/17/12 Mid April May Throwing off mound (1)
Grant Balfour Knee 2/14/13 Late March Middle April Throwing off mound (1)
Brandon Beachy TJS 6/21/12 Mid June Mid June Playing Catch (1)
Lance Berkman Knee 10/1/12 Late April Mid March Working out (1)
Jeremy Bonderman TJS 04/24/12 Late March Late March Healthy (1)
Tim Byrdak Shoulder Surgery 07/01/12 Early July Early July Bullpen Sessions (1)
Edwar Cabrera (**) Shoulder 08/01/12 Mid March Unknown Unknown (1)
Chris Carpenter (**) Nerve 02/05/13 September Retire Rest (1)
 Andrew Cashner Thumb laceration 1/25/13 Late March May Rest (1)
Carl Crawford TJS 8/23/12 Late March Early April Throwing (1)
Scott Diamond Elbow Surgery 10/1/12 Early April Early May Unknown (1)
Kyle Drabek (**) TJS 6/19/12 Mid Season Mid Season Unknown (1)
Danny Duffy TJS 6/13/12 Early June All Star Game Throwing (1)
Neftali Feliz TJS 8/1/12 July August Playing Catch (1)
Frank Francisco Elbow 2/14/13 Late March Early April Throwing (1)
Rafael Furcal Elbow 2/20/13 Mid March Mid April Rest (1)
Mat Gamel Knee 2/18/13 2014 2014 Rest (1)
Matt Garza Strained Lat 2/21/13 April April Throwing (1)
Curtis Granderson Right forearm 2/24/13 Early May Middle May Rest (1)
Corey Hart Right knee surgery 1/26/13 Late April Late May Rest (1)
Daniel Hudson (**) TJS 7/9/12 July July Playing Catch (1)
Phil Hughes Bulging Disk 2/28/13 Late March Middle April Rest (1)
Drew Hutchison TJS 08/08/12 August October Rehabilitation (1)
Derek Jeter Fractured Left Ankle 10/1/12 Late March Late March Fielding (1)
Ryan Kalish (**) Shoulder Surgery 1/25/13 Early April Unknown Rest (1)
Matt Kemp Shoulder 8/1/12 Late March Late March Light Training (1)
Colby Lewis Elbow Surgery 7/1/12 Late May June Throwing (1)
Francisco Liriano Broken humerus 12/1/12 Early April Late May Rest (1)
Cory Luebke TJS 5/23/12 July July Unknown (1)
Ryan Madson TJS 04/11/12 April May Rest (1)
Nick Masset Shoulder Surgery 09/07/12 Unknown Unknown Throwing (1)
Jeff Mathis Broken Collarbone 02/23/13 Mid March Mid March Rest (1)
Brian McCann Torn labrum 7/4/12 April April Batting Practice (1)
Logan Morrison Knee 9/1/12 Late March Late April Light Training (1)
Charlie Morton TJS 06/21/12 June Unknown Throwing (1)
David Ortiz Achilles 03/03/13 Late March April Hitting (1)
Juan Oviedo TJS 09/06/12 September 2014 Rest (1)
Felipe Paulino (**) TJS 7/3/12 Early July Early July Throwing (1)
Carl Pavano Ruptured spleen 1/25/13 Late March Mid April Rest (1)
Mike Pelfrey TJS 05/01/12 Late March Late March Throwing (1)
Chris Perez Strained Shoulder 03/01/13 Late March Early April Rest (1)
Luis Perez (**) TJS 7/1/12 Early July Early September Rest UNK
Martin Perez Broken Forearm 03/03/13 Late April Late May Rest (1)
Michael Pineda Shoulder Surgery 5/1/12 June Early July Rest (1)
Wilson Ramos ACL 5/1/12 Late March Late March Catching (1)
Alex Rodriguez (**) Hip surgery 1/16/13 Early July 2014 season Rest (1)(2)
CC Sabathia Bone Spur 10/1/12 Late March Late March Throwing (1)
Johan Santana Back 2/25/13 Late March Middle April Throwing off mound (1)
George Sherrill TJS 5/1/11 Late April May Bullpen Sessions (1)
Joakim Soria TJS 4/2/12 Late May Early June Playing Catch (1)
Eric Surkamp TJS 07/24/12 Late July September Unknown (1)
Tsuyoshi Wada TJS 05/11/12 May June Throwing off mound (1)
Josh Tomlin (**) TJS 08/22/12 August 2014 Rest (1)
Joe Wieland (**) TJS 07/27/12 Early August 2014 Catch (1)
Brian Wilson TJS 4/19/12 Unknown Unknown Not ready to pitch (1)
Randy Wolf TJS 10/30/12 2014 2014 Rest (1)
Delmon Young Right ankle 10/1/12 Mid April Early May Rest (1)

* Player is officially on the 15-day disabled list
** Player is officially on the 60-day disabled list

Pitchers with Velocity Drops

Name 2013 2012 2011 2010
Jeremy Bonderman 87.0 89.8
Louis Coleman 88.0 90.3 89.6
Kelvin Herrera 95.9 98.5 96.2
Greg Holland 93.9 96.1 94.9 95.8
Joe Nathan 91.9 94.0 92.3
Alexi Ogando 93.1 96.9 95.0 96.2
Mike Pelfrey 88.0 93.5 92.2 92.0
Oliver Perez 90.7 93.7 88.0 90.0
Stephen Pryor 92.0 96.6
Addison Reed 92.5 94.6 94.9
Clayton Richardson 88.5 90.7 90.4 91.3
Joe Saunders 84.0 88.9 89.6 90.5

For reference, fastball speeds stabilize quickly and spring training values are on average 0.6 mph slower than the regular season.

Players Returning From Injury

No information yet.

Players Playing Through Injuries

Name Injury Source
Hanley Ramirez Shoulder (1)
Will Middlebrooks Wrist (1)
Nolan Reimold Shoulder (1)
Russell Martin Shoulder (1)

Here is the list of players who should exceed their power projections for 2013:

Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Howard, Cameron Maybin, Trevor Plouffe, Justin Upton, Paul Konerko, Dustin Pedroia, Luke Scott, Matt Kemp, Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, Pablo Sandoval, Carl Crawford, Giancarlo Stanton, Jacoby Ellsbury, Evan Longoria, and Troy Tulowitzki. New additions: Dustin Ackley, Matt LaPorta and Howie Kendrick

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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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Detroit Michael
Detroit Michael

Note that the Pitch F/X velocity readings for Kansas City are usually high. That might explain Coleman / Herrera / Holland being on the velocity drop list.

Matt Bertelli
Matt Bertelli

That’s a relief (pun intended). I am targeting Holland in many of my fantasy drafts and I just got a little disapointed with that volocity report. Deffinitly something to watch. Anyone have thoughts on Nathan and Reed?