MASH Report (4/9/15)

• The Tigers have put both Justin Verlander and Joe Nathan on the DL. Verlander’s trip is not a surprise since he was dealing with the strained tricep during spring training. Nathan’s strained elbow was unexpected though. Right now his status is a little vague and hopefully more information will be available soon.

James Loney went on the DL with a strained oblique. The team expects him to only miss the required 15-days.

Matt Cain is on the DL with a strained flexor tendon. Sounds like more information on the extent of the injury will be coming soon.

Jenrry Mejia went on the DL with a strained elbow.

An MRI exam taken Tuesday on closer Jenrry Mejia’s right elbow revealed inflammation but no structural damage, the club announced. The Mets placed the right-hander on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Sunday, and recalled Erik Goeddel from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place. Mejia received a cortisone shot in New York, and he’ll rest for at least 10 days to ease the inflammation.

To find his replacement and other bullpen issues, check out our daily Bullpen Report.

Ricky Nolasco’s elbow is hurting and he is going to have it tested.

Michael Brantley looks to have a bum back which may continue to cost him games throughout the season.

Francona said he and Brantley were “perplexed” by the recurring nature of the injury. Brantley arrived to spring training in mid-February with the balky back. He was excused from some drills early on in camp and he missed a handful of games later on during the exhibition season. He played in Monday’s season opener.

Terry Francona on Michael Brantley sore backManager Terry Francona talks about Michael Brantley’s back problems that forced him to miss Wednesday’s start against Houston and bothered him throughout spring training.

Francona said Brantley “felt great” on Wednesday until he felt the tightness before the game.

• The Rays Burch Smith will have Tommy John surgery and miss all of the 2015 season.

• Mr. Eno Sarris has been cranking out the injury related interviews. First, he talked to Sean Doolittle on his shoulder rehab.

When he finally started throwing, Doolittle lined up 45 feet away from the catcher. He was surprised at how much he just wanted to throw the ball hard right away, but all that time off made him a little anxious to huck it, maybe. He hasn’t been a pitcher all that long — he converted from first base in 2011 at the request of the team — so some of it can be chalked up to getting the hang of things.

But, generally, much of the rehab process is built to go against the natural instincts of an athlete. You’re forced to take things slowly so that your competitive instincts don’t take over. You’re forced to throw socks and towels and stand on balls holding rubber bands be-cause it’s important to take things slowly, and to remove your natural instincts from the muscle work that needs to be done.

Then he got together with Shin-Soo Choo an talked about playing with an injury.

If you play through injury, your numbers suffer. That’s how Choo had his worst strikeout and second-worst power numbers since he became a regular. And then the fans tend to howl, particularly if you’re in the first year of a big new deal with a new team. “I know I was hurting, but I didn’t want to say anything, because it’s my job to stay in the lineups every day,” Choo said.

And the howling? Did it bother the player? “It’s okay, I’ll take it, it’s my job,” he said. “You’re a ball player, in any sport, people talk about your numbers, people talk bad, that’s okay, it’s our job.” Really, people are going to complain either way in this situation. “I’m okay with no numbers, I don’t want people to say he’s aways hurt,” Choo said.


Velocity Readings

• I have been collection changes in velocity from 2014 to now and tweeting them out every day. All the values will be collected in this spreadsheet.

Jered Weaver’s velocity was down 2 mph in his first start compared to 2014. Manager Mike Scioscia says he is “out of sync”.

That year, the Angels’ ace threw his fastball at 86.8 mph — fourth slowest among non-knuckleball-throwing starters — and averaged 86.69 mph on Opening Day. Angels manager Mike Scioscia attributed Weaver’s most recent velocity to being “out of sync” overall, as evidenced by the four runs and five extra-base hits he gave up in six innings.

He better get in sync or he will be out of the rotation pretty soon.

Players with Injuries Going into 2015

Red colored entries are updates since last report.

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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Is Anthony Rendon missing from the spreadsheet?