MASH Report (3/9/15)

The following is what happens when I go a full week without a report. The injuries are rolling in and I have quite a few updates on spring training velocities.

• I guessing most people have heard that Yu Darvish has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. Here is Jon Daniels going through Darvish’s options:

“We got the MRI results yesterday evening. Dr. Meister met with Yu at that time and we just all got together this morning and talked through the options, effectively, that there are three options for Yu at this point,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “One is to attempt to pitch through it, which is not a great option. Two, would be an effort for rest and rehab. I think the sentiment is that is effectively what we did in the fall and in the winter and up until two days ago, we had very good results with it. He looked very good but obviously that did not pan out as desired. The third option would be Tommy John surgery.”

I don’t think he will immediately pitch though the pain. Instead, he will rest for few months with rehab which is what Tananka did. He may be able to pitch the last couple months of the season. If he decides to get Tommy John surgery, he will likely not be competing in the majors until May 2016. He may be a late round DL stash for this season, but nothing more.

Hunter Pence will be out six to eight weeks with a fractured forearm. Arm related injuries for hitters seem to have the most lingering effects. His power could be down quite a bit once he returns.

Cliff Lee experienced elbow discomfort in the same elbow which gave him issues last year.

Lee had an MRI on Friday and was examined by Phillies team physician Michael Ciccotti. Amaro said there was “very mild inflammation” in Lee’s elbow. Lee will seek a second opin-ion from Dr. James Andrews.

“You have to be alarmed, we have to be concerned because it’s the same area and he feels something,” Amaro said. “It’s the same area, the same issues he had last year.”

Lee, 36, was limited to 13 starts last season, when he had two stints on the disabled list. He was sidelined for the final two months of the year with a flexor pronator strain.

Denard Span will be out for four to six weeks with a core muscle repair.

Span said he started feeling pain in his right core muscle six or seven weeks after having hernia surgery in early December. He was hoping the pain would go away by the time he arrived for Spring Training, but it grew worse after he played against the Mets on Thursday.

“[The pain] was off and on,” Span said. “I got to Spring Training. I tried to play on Thursday and it didn’t respond well.”

Span could be doing baseball activities in four to six weeks. He is expected to rejoin the Nationals later this week.

With speed being a part of his game (defense and stolen bases), I am leery of putting too many resources into him this season.

Drew Smyly is out for a bit with shoulder discomfort.

And Smyly won’t even throw a ball for at least a couple of days, maybe more, waiting for his shoulder to feel better before he starts again working toward game form. He mentioned tightness, “lots of knots” and inflammation but insists it’s “nothing seri-ous.” That’s probably better listed as still to be determined.

Smyly, 25, admitted Sunday that the issue stemmed from trying to do too much too fast after an odd December finger injury put him more than a month behind in his throwing program. “I think I ramped my throwing program up a little too quick to try to catch up with everybody,” Smyly said.

He will need to recover quickly to be ready for Opening Day.

Brett Cecil has shoulder inflammation and will sit for a week. There is a chance he may not be ready by Opening Day if he has any recovery setbacks.

Mike Minor’s shoulder is a mess. It is the same one he had issues with last season. I would not count on his production since right now all he is getting is rest. He just had a few months of rest and it still hurts.

Josh Reddick is also questionable for Opening Day with an oblique strain.

A’s right fielder Josh Reddick is suddenly questionable for Opening Day. Manager Bob Mel-vin revealed Saturday that Reddick is “going to be out a little bit longer than we anticipated” with a right oblique strain.

“We know for sure he’s not doing anything for two weeks, and then it’s a progression to get him ready again,” said Melvin. “You have to start from zero again. I would think Opening Day would be a stretch, but he has been a quick healer.”

Tim Collins will miss quite a bit of time with UCL damage possibly needing Tommy John surgery. This news may make left-handed Brian Finnegan’s move to the bullpen more likely to happen.

Omar Infante is again dealing with a sore elbow. This injury affected him last year and it seems like it won’t go away. In deeper leagues, I would look at picking up Christian Colon as a possible replacement.

Sean Nolin will start the season on the DL with groin discomfort.

Adam Lind is dealing with a sore back. He has had back issues in the past so this development isn’t a surprise. I like platooning him and this injury won’t change that opinion. I would be leery of having to rely on him daily in a shallow league though.

Lance Lynn left a game early with a hip strain. I am not sure how serious it will be and we will find out more today. I did find this rambling of his quite confusing:

“I was throwing the ball where I wanted to in the first,” Lynn said. “In the second inning, I just couldn’t get it back. When you’re out of the windup, it’s a lot easier. Then sitting down on the bench, you have to get used to doing that [going up and down].”

So did he basically forgot how to pitch from the stretch and for multiple innings over the offseason?

Rusney Castillo is dealing with a strained oblique. I am a little worried this will bother him into the season if he doesn’t rest enough now.

Glen Perkins is continuing to experience side discomfort. Brian Duensing or Casey Fien may be able to get some early season Saves.

Gavin Floyd is dealing with elbow discomfort

Devin Mesoraco is the first player this season to report having experience brain damage.

Dontrelle Willis is hurt with a stiff neck. I didn’t know he was considered to be healthy.


Velocity Readings from Injured Pitchers

Velocity is one of the few spring training stats which is extremely reliable as Mike Fast (now with the Astros) found at Baseball-Prospectus . Here are some pitcher values of interest.

From Pitchf/x stadium (homes of Royals, Rangers, Padres and Mariners). The values are mph increases or decreases.

Tyson Ross +2
Josh Collmenter +2
Jose Valverde +2

T.J. House
Cody Allen
Tyler Matzek
Wade Davis
Mike Leake
Danny Duffy
Hisashi Iwakuma
Brandon Morrow
Kevin Quackenbush
Brandon Maurer
Ian Kennedy
Robbie Erlin

Kyuji Fujikawa -1

Odrisamer Despaigne -2
Greg Holland -2

Note: He was one of the few pitchers to gain back velocity during last year’s spring training after his velocity started down a few mph.

Yusmeiro Petit -2 (on only two FB, but threw 17 changes, something wrong here)
Joaquin Benoit -2
Danny Farquhar -2


From Twitter searches

Rubby de la Rosa was down 2 mph. Eno Sarris talked to and shot some video of him this past weekend. Rubby is really working on revamping his delivery. It will be interesting where he eventually ends up production wise.

Jim Henderson sitting around 90 mph. It will be tough for him to make up 4 mph to get back to his previous form. Not a good sign at all.

Daniel Hudson around 93-94mph. Might be max radar readings.

Jaime Garcia down from 2014.

Matt Harvey may have more velocity now than before be needed TJS when he averaged 96 mph.

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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Thanks for the comprehensive update as usual. RE: Holland – I don’t understand your comment: “He was one of the few to gain early spring training velocity loss last season.” Does this mean last season in ST he was also down in MPH, but gained it back over the 2014 season – and thus, maybe he would do that again?