MASH Report (6/4/13) – Introducing Hidden Hitter Injury Finder

Today, I will concentrate on my newest tool, Position Players Playing Through Injury Finder, and report the fastball speeds of a few pitchers who recently returned from the disabled list.

• Injuries and their effects continue to be one of the more under-researched areas of baseball. As more and more DL data has become available, we can make better conclusions on the effects of injuries. Even with with 100% complete and accurate DL information, the times a hitter plays through injuries isn’t recorded. I have been trying to note these players and the stats which seem effected. I have found power, contact and speed (Duh) to decline as a results of an injury.

With this information, I decided to try to reverse-engineer an equation to find players with declining rates in speed, contact and power. The equation is not based off any extrapolated values, just what I thought would work (similar to the QB passer rating in the NFL). Also, I am not close to being done with it. I used previous season data and need to improve these values (weighting and regression). Also, I just can’t compare to preseason projections because they don’t calculate some values I look at like Contact%. Also, it can’t look at rookies at this point. Even with these limitations, the results have been encouraging.

Here is the top 25 leader board with players over 100 PA this season and at least 500 total PA in the previous three seasons.

Position Players Playing Through Injury Finder
(Do you have a better name, let me know and I will gladly use it)

Rank Name Injury Factor
1 B.J. Upton 318
2 Garrett Jones 181
3 Ike Davis 165
4 Nolan Reimold 154
5 John Jaso 133
6 Matt Kemp 119
7 Albert Pujols 118
8 Jarrod Saltalamacchia 115
9 Shane Victorino 111
10 Seth Smith 109
11 Colby Rasmus 97
12 Josh Willingham 89
13 Jonny Gomes 86
14 Josh Hamilton 79
15 Jeff Keppinger 79
16 Melky Cabrera 76
17 Andres Torres 76
18 Alex Avila 74
19 Carlos Quentin 73
20 Ryan Howard 72
21 Lance Berkman 71
22 Brandon Phillips 69
23 Dustin Pedroia 64
24 Juan Pierre 64
25 Adrian Gonzalez 63

Going through the list, here are some players working through injuries. I didn’t research each name, so I am am probably missing some reported injuries.

#1: B.J. Upton is coming off a back injury which bring down his production this season. Probably not to the level he is down, but still down.

#2: Garrett Jones had an oblique injury in spring training and he still may be feeling the effects.

#4: Nolan Reimold tried to play through a hamstring injury, but eventually he was forced on the D.L.

#5: John Jaso has been hampered by a shin injury all season.

#6: Matt Kemp’s shoulder may (or may not) be slowing him down.

#7: Albert Pujols has been playing through an injured left foot.

#9: Shane Victorino was dealing with a hamstring injury all season.

#12: Josh Willingham: Took a hit to his wrist in a series with Boston. Before the hit-by-pitch he was hitting .225/.405./.472. Since then, he is hitting .198/.300/.407.

#16 Melky Cabrera has dealt with hamstring irritation since the beginning of the season

#23: Dustin Pedroia is dealing in an injured thumb.

Right now an Injury Factor over 100 seems to be a decent indicator a player trying to play through an injury. I seems like Ike Davis’s struggles may be injury related.

I will be putting out a top ranking each MASH report so readers may know if an injury may be behind a player’s struggles. Also, I will continue to improve the process.

Joba Chamberlain’s velocity is OK.

Josh Fields’s velocity seems OK (SSS even for velocity)

Franklin Morales’s velocity is not OK. It is down about 2-3 mph.

Players on the DL

(*) 15 Day Disabled List
(**) 60 Day Disabled List
(***) 7 Day Concussion List
Red colored entries are updates since last 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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Clint Robinson
Clint Robinson

Jeff, how worried should we be about CC Sabathia? Trying to decide whether to value him as an ace or not in a trade.


You didn’t ask me, but as a worried CC owner myself, I can hope to add some insight into his “regression.” First,, this is some good news. Second, swinging strike % is up from past two years. Third, it seems to me that he is actually throwing a bit too many strikes and mixed with a declining velocity, he is getting hit more. I don’t know if he will be as dominant as years past, but I think as the weather starts to heat up and he gains velocity back, he will be a very good pitcher, albeit in the 3.4-3.7 range as opposed to closer to 3. Hope this helps.


I actually think he’s underrated at this point. The underlying numbers are not just good, they’re great. I’m betting he’s an ace ROS. I’d rather own him than Matt Moore, for example, and think he’ll offer around the same value as Scherzer (although if I had a choice, I”d gamble on Scherzer’s upside over CC). The thing that I love about CC is that he’s such a beast — he’s big and strong, like Verlander, which I think helps him pitch DEEP into games, giving you increased chances at wins even when he has a bad inning early on.