MASH Report (6/23/14)

Michael Wacha is headed to the DL with a “stress reaction in his right shoulder”. You haven’t heard of the injury before? Other people  haven’t either.

There is also no timetable for Garcia’s return, though he’ll begin a rehab program immediately. Yet it is Wacha’s injury that comes with more questions since it is not commonly found in Major League pitchers. The injury does not require surgery, and the MRI did not reveal a fracture in the bone. But having Wacha continue to pitch could have led to one.
D-backs pitcher Brandon McCarthy is one possible comparison for the Cardinals to use in determining how to move forward this injury. McCarthy has had recurring stress reactions in his pitching shoulder, and those have cost him several starts over several seasons.

So what we know right now he is “shut down for at least a few weeks”. OK, at least 3-4 weeks with no pitching. Another month to get back up to speed. I think we are looking at a late August return with no setbacks.  In 2011, McCarthy missed 81 days with his stress fracture and various 30 day stints around it. Josh McKinney missed 89 days last season with the same injury. Depending on how things shake out, Wacha may done for the season.

Jaime Garcia is back on the DL with shoulder discomfort. I was beginning to warm up to him and his 5.6K/BB ratio. While his ERA was a bit high (4.12), but he had a nice 2.93 xFIP.

Michael Pineda had another setback in his recovery. His owners will be lucky to get any production out of him this season.

Alex Torres is the first pitcher to use the new approved protective cap in a game.

“The difference between how this hat and the regular hat feels isn’t much,” Torres said. “I tried it before using it in the game, playing catch. It doesn’t feel really bad. It doesn’t feel like how it looks on my head.”

The hat seems huge and I can see why other pitchers aren’t interested. Hopefully some inventive person out there can get a protective hat to be more fashionable.

•  Jedd Gyorko is back in his walking boot after having it recently removed.

Tests on Gyorko’s right foot — he’s on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis — showed not enough improvement to keep the cast and boot off.

“It’s not a great sign,” said Padres manager Bud Black.

On Thursday, the cast and protective boot went back on.

I have given up hope for any worth while production from Gyorko this season.

• One little trick I have have found looking at hitters playing through injuries is to go to a player’s Daily Graphs and look for current trends. Take Yasiel Puig who has been dealing with hip discomfort over the past couple of weeks. Going to his Daily Graphs page, I look at two graphs, K% (contact) and ISO. Right now Puig has a steady K% but his ISO is on a downward trend. Most owners will take an 80% Puig over most other hitters, but other lesser hitters should be benched. Look for the trend to head up to know when he is feeling healthy again.

Fastball Velocity Watch for Pitchers Returning From the DL

Felix Doubront’s fastball velocity was near his season low on his return from the DL. Additionally, only 46% of his pitches were in the strike zone after average 50% before going on the DL. I would stay away from starting him until he seems healthy.

Zach McAllister was sent to AAA.

Santiago Casilla’s velocity looks fine.

Players on the DL

Players on the DL

(*) 15 Day Disabled List
(**) 60 Day Disabled List
(***) 7 Day Concussion List
(****) Free Agent
Red colored entries are updates since last report.

Major League Report


Minor League 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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Your tip about using Daily Graphs to look for current trends is awesome- thank you. Looking at ISO, specifically, seems to be great indicator. Ryan Braun says he feels great, but the graph would lead me to believe his thumb is bothering him. Carlos Santana is back! Ryan Zimmerman is (still) a mess.