MASH Report (4/25/13)

Today, I am going to take a look at players returning from appendectomy surgery and the injury chances for a couple of struggling pitchers, Matt Cain and Gio Gonzalez.

Jason Heyward is headed to the DL for having an appendectomy. A couple of years ago, I looked at how players performed after going on the DL for the surgery. I found Heyward owners “should expect him to miss around ~30 days … and his production should not suffer once he returns”.

Matt Cain is struggling a bit this season with a 6.59 ERA fueled by a 1.9 HR/9. The first item which sticks out is his 2012 and 2013 xFIP and SIERA are almost identical

Season: xFIP, SIERA
2012: 3.82, 3.62
2013: 3.81, 3.64

Using these metrics, he seems like he is pitching the same as last year.

His velocity is down 0.5 mph this season compared to last season. Every pitcher his age should expect drop of 0.35 mph per season so the drop isn’t out of line. Also, his game velocities are not much different than his speed values to begin last season.

Another factor I look at is Zone%. His Zone% is actually up from 50.8% in 2012 to 51.2% in 2013.

I just think Cain is bit unlucky to start the season.

Gio Gonzalez on the other hand is showing some signs of injury. His velocity is down over 1 mph going rom 93.1 mph in 2012 to 91.9 in 2013.

Besides the velocity drop, his Zone% is down to 45% after just dropping below the 47% injury threshold last season. The lack of control is seen with his BB/9 jumping from 3.4 in 2012 to 5.0 in 2013.

Players on the DL

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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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I’m shopping Gio. I’m targeting someone who may be frustrated with a starter going through some early season struggles. Thinking CC, Cain, Halladay.

Is there anyone else out there who you think is a good trade target right now?