MASH Report (5/3/13)

This week I will examine one pitcher returning from the D.L., four hitters struggling through injuries, two pitcher requests and a pitcher injury I was too late in covering.

Joel Hanrahan’s post-DL velocity seems fine after two appearances.

• Most hitters who play through known injuries struggle. I never like to draw too many conclusions from a small sample, but the season is now 1/6th done. Some stats are getting to the point where they stabilize.

I like to use Contact% and ISO, which both stabilize fairly quickly, to see if the hitter can make contact and how much power is behind the contact. Additionally, I use their HR+Flyball distance from my website Baseballheatmaps.com. While I have not yet created a point when it stabilizes, I like to know how hard they are physically hitting the ball.

Matt Kemp (shoulder), Jason Kipnis (elbow), Carlos Beltran (toe), and Pablo Sandoval (elbow) are all playing through known injuries. Additionally, Victor Martinez may not be at 100% after his 2012 torn ACL (I will compare his production to his 2011 values).

ISO Contact% HR+FB Distance
Name 2013 2012 Diff 2013 2012 Diff 2013 2012 Diff
Carlos Beltran 0.250 0.227 0.023 80.8% 79.4% 1.4% 301 297 4
Pablo Sandoval 0.164 0.164 0 85.7% 80.6% 5.1% 293 288 5
Jason Kipnis 0.081 0.122 -0.041 74.4% 83.3% -8.9% 280 283 -3
Matt Kemp 0.080 0.236 -0.156 67.9% 72.6% -4.7% 264 313 -49
2013 2011 Diff 2013 2011 Diff 2013 2011 Diff
Victor Martinez 0.051 0.141 -0.090 90.1% 92.0% -1.9% 282 278 4

Of the players examined, Beltran and Sandoval both look like their injuries are not negatively affecting the examined stats. If Victor Martinez’s injury is still affecting him, it is only showing up in a drop in ISO.

All point to Kemp and Kipnis being brought down by injuries. They both show a drop in contact and way less power compared to 2012.

Huston Street is struggling quite a bit, but the signs don’t point to an injury being the issue. His velocity is down just 0.4 mph from 2012 and his Zone% is up from 44.3% to 47%. His biggest issue is his inability to miss bats. His Swinging Strike % has pummeled from 13.9% in 2012 to 6.6% in 2013. The extra contact has been pretty solid as his LD% has increase from 20.% to 28% and his HR/FB jumped from 6% to 20%

Edinson Volquez’s inability to throw strikes pointed to a possible injury concerns to start the season. After looking at his 2013 data, a couple of items seem to be driving his production. First, he is throwing softer. This downward trend started hlaf way through the 2012 season

Second, he is throwing more pitches in the strike zone with basically the same pitch mix. The combination of the two has led to:

Less walks – more pitches in the strike zone.
Less strikeouts – Less chases and easier to hit pitches.
Harder hit balls – Softer pitches in the zone.

He may have lost the velocity from an injury or by slowing down his pitches for more control. Either way, his results are not good.

Josh Johnson’s production should have pegged him as an injury risk before he went on the DL. In addition to his drop in Zone% and slight velocity decrease, he was having problems being consistent at the end of games. At baseballheatmaps.com, I have a tool based off Josh Kalk’s and Kyle Boddy’s previous work with looks at factors which may predict injury (description here).

He normally averages a late game consistency score was just under 20. In 2013, put up 2 values (40 and 50), which were significantly higher than all but one value from 2012.

Players on the DL

(*) 15 Day Disabled List
(**) 60 Day Disabled List
(***) 7 Day Concussion List
Red colored entries have been updated since the 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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Being widely reported that Liriano’s return is May 10th; however, Hurdle says the 11th.