MASH Report (6/10/13) – PAIN – Pitcher Injury Finder

After introducing HURT (hitter injury finder), I am introducing PAIN (pitcher injury finder) today. Besides a list potentially hurt hitters and pitchers, I will examine Ryan Braun, Anibal Sanchez, Kevin Youkilis and report the velocity for some pitchers returning from the D.L.

• Last week I introduced a metric to help look for position players playing through injury called HURT. Today, I introduce PAIN which looks for pitchers with traits of injured pitchers. Mainly it looks for fastball velocity drops and low, dropping Zone%’s from only the previous season. I have weighted in a bit on Pace (hurt pitchers take longer between pitches) and average fastball velocity (I have found harder throwers are more injury prone). I tried to add consistency of release points, but could not get it to work because too many pitchers have more than one release point. Finally, I am going to add in a measure of contact in the future and regress the values. Enough of the boring stuff, here are the pitchers PAIN determines to be a injury risk:

PAIN (20 IP in 2013, 40 IP in 2012)

Note: I like PAIN as a easy acronym to remember for the pitchers. I haven’t had time to get the exact words figured out yet. Any suggestions?

Rank Name Injury Factor
1 Alexi Ogando 107.0
2 Jonathan Broxton 97.3
3 Francisco Liriano 96.2
4 Lucas Harrell 92.9
5 Craig Stammen 91.6
6 Esmil Rogers 80.7
7 Jason Marquis 73.6
8 Matt Moore 66.1
9 Brett Myers 65.7
10 Joe Nathan 62.3
11 Carlos Villanueva 59.7
12 Rex Brothers 58.4
13 Luis Mendoza 58.3
14 John Axford 55.1
15 Carlos Marmol 54.2
16 Zack Greinke 53.7
17 Jeremy Affeldt 53.1
18 Craig Kimbrel 53.0
19 Jason Grilli 52.9
20 Fernando Rodney 52.8
21 Yovani Gallardo 51.5
22 Alfredo Aceves 50.1
23 Ryan Dempster 46.9
24 Scott Feldman 46.8
25 Adam Ottavino 45.7

I have beat to death Ogando’s injury chances and Chris Cwik just talked about Liriano today, so I will look at why Lucas Harrell is near the top of the list.

First, he has seen a small drop in velocity from 92.5 mph to 91.9. The big hit for him is his Zone% (pfx). In 2013, it is near 41%. The Zone% is a 9% decline from his 2012 value and is below the 47% value I found makes pitchers more injury prone. Also, his pace has slowed down a bit.

With the above information leading to a high value, one additional piece of information should be examined, he release points. Here are his 2013 values:

While he tries to use different release points, they are not consistent in any way. Putting it all together, I would not be surprised to see Harrell end up on the D.L. at some point this season.

Ryan Braun’s thumb is becoming more of a bother to him. His ISO is down at .206 after averaging .270 the previous two seasons. The problem looks to be getting worse and worse. Here are his 2013 ISO’s by month

Month: ISO
Mar/Apr: .298
May: .176
June: .036

HURT is not picking him up because the drop is not as much as other players and he is still able to make decent contact. It will be nice to see him get the thumb healed for once.

Kevin Youkilis’s back is acting up again. I am just making it a personal rule to never count on position players with previous D.L. time because of a back injury (see B.J. Upton).

Anibal Sanchez missed a start because of shoulder discomfort. I looked at his information and the only problem I see is two straight near 44% Zone%’s. I am not too concerned, but will monitor his next start.

Dustin McGowan’s velocity is up compared to when he was able to throw in 2011 and 2012.

Pedro Strop’s fastball is up near 2012 levels. I would continue to monitor him to see if he can keep it up.

Jeff Francis’s fastball is right at where it always hovers. 85 mph.

Jim Henderson’s velocity after returning form the D.L. is near an all time high.

HURT (Hitter’s Under-performance from Recent Trauma) Rankings (min 100 PA in 2013 and min 600 PA from 2010 to 2012):

Rank Name Injury Finder
1 B.J. Upton 319
2 Garrett Jones 174
3 Ike Davis 167
4 John Jaso 135
5 Albert Pujols 122
6 Matt Kemp 119
7 Josh Willingham 117
8 Seth Smith 115
9 Shane Victorino 114
10 Lance Berkman 105
11 Jeff Keppinger 95
12 Andres Torres 86
13 Alex Avila 85
14 Jarrod Saltalamacchia 80
15 Vernon Wells 79
16 Brandon Phillips 78
17 Adrian Gonzalez 75
18 Cody Ross 74
19 Jay Bruce 72
20 Neil Walker 72
21 Colby Rasmus 71
22 Melky Cabrera 67
23 Jonny Gomes 65
24 Carlos Quentin 64
25 Dustin Pedroia 61

Players on the DL

(*) 15 Day Disabled List
(**) 60 Day Disabled List
(***) 7 Day Concussion List
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 four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR twice, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Bryan Grosnick
10 years ago

PAIN — Pitcher Accuracy and Intensity Number? Since it refers to Zone% (accuracy) and velocity (intensity — yeah, it’s a stretch) drops?