MASH Report (7/26/16)

• I should say I am sorry about no MASH Reports last week, but I am not. I took a much-needed vacation and I am now back to work. The report is quite long today as I had to catch up on all the injury information. It is like three-reports-in-one.

• The Rangers sent both Prince Fielder (herniated neck) and Shin-Soo Choo (inflamed back) to the DL. Fielder is dealing with a similar injury he had two years ago.

The herniation is just above a previous injury that was surgically repaired on May 27, 2014, which forced Fielder to miss the rest of that season. Fielder has been bothered by the problem for some time, but did not report it to the Rangers until Monday.

Fielder had an MRI on Tuesday and was examined on Wednesday in Los Angeles by Dr. Robert Watkins, who recommended surgery. Fielder is going to get a second opinion on Fri-day from Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed the surgery two years ago, before a final course of action is decided.

“The way it has been described to me is that a fused vertebrae puts added stress above and below,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “The initial fusion he had is still intact. The new herniation surfaced above it.

I stayed away from Fielder in 2015 because I was worried about a re-injury. I was a year too early, but I think Fielder owners will from now on need a draft-day backup plan if the draft him.

Choo had been playing through this back injury for a bit and should only need the minimum time until he returns.

Choo has been dealing with inflammation in his lower back for the past couple of weeks. He also had an MRI and examination from Dr. Watkins. Choo received an anti-inflammation injection and is expected to be sidelined 10-14 days.

Jhonny Peralta is back on the DL with another thumb injury.

“[Peralta] just continued to feel discomfort,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. “We were hoping through anti-inflammatories, we thought he was going to be able to play through it, and unfortunately he was not. I think the best thing for him right now is some rest, and hopefully in about 10 days he can start resuming baseball activities.”
He missed the first 57 games of the season after undergoing left thumb ligament surgery and has played in just 30 games, hitting .221 with five home runs and 13 RBIs. The inflammation that put Peralta on the DL is on the opposite side of the surgically repaired thumb and is not related to the injury he suffered in Spring Training, according to Mozeliak.

Hyun Soo Kim will be out about a month with a strained hamstring.

Tyler Glasnow is headed to the DL with shoulder discomfort. No return timelines have been given by the team, but I expect the team to be really conservative and keep him on the DL for a while.

Koji Uehara is on the DL with a strained pectoral.

Arodys Vizcaino will spend the next month recovering from an oblique strain.

Instead of having an opportunity to ease his way back into the closer’s role, Arodys Vizcaino will spend the next few weeks recovering from an oblique strain and the frequent frustration he has felt over the past month.

Before Saturday night’s 4-3 loss to the Rockies, the Braves placed Vizcaino on the disabled list with the right oblique strain he sustained after throwing just three pitches during the ninth inning of Friday’s 11-2 loss to the Rockies. He was inserted into the lopsided game to simply shake off some of the rust that had developed since he had last pitched on July 6.

“Anybody who gets [an oblique strain], they’re just so time consuming,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “You’ve got to calm everything down until they’re not feeling anything before you can let them begin throwing again. If you don’t, you can really screw things up. So, it’s just unfortunate, but one of those things. You’ve just got to be patient for them to get back and get everything good again.”

Nick Ahmed will go on the DL with hip impingement which has bothered him since late June.

The injury first plagued Ahmed at the end of June when the D-backs were in Denver, but he was able to take a couple of days off and then continue playing.

In Friday’s game, manager Chip Hale said he noticed Ahmed wasn’t getting much on his swing and pulled him in the ninth inning for a pinch-hitter. When approached by Hale in the ninth, Ahmed admitted that his hip was bothering him. It was decided Saturday to forgo an-other short down period for Ahmed and place him on the DL.

“It’s just something that’s been wearing on that hip. Mostly the hitting was bothering him. Now it kind of leaked into his fielding and running,” Hale said. “We were just going to give him some days off but then we just decided it’s just better to give him the 15 days and go back and see Dr. [Gary] Waslewski.”

While Ahmed hasn’t hit for average all season (.208 before injury, .216 after), his power is none existent after the injury (.102 ISO before and .000 after). I expect him to be back in the minimum 15 days since he was already playing through the injury.

Ketel Marte will be on the DL with mononucleosis. His return time is still a little up in the air, but I would not be surprised if it was only the 15 days missed.

Yan Gomes may not catch again this regular season because of the long timeline for his return from a separated shoulder.

Gomes was placed on the 15-day DL, and is expected to be sidelined six-to-eight weeks after sustaining a separated shoulder in Sunday’s 6-1 win over the Twins.

Wei-Yin Chen is out with an elbow injury. Detailed information on this injury to tough to find right now.

Nick Tropeano is out for a while and deciding how to deal with a torn UCL.

Trayce Thompson will be out with back irritation.

Joey Rickard will miss 4-6 weeks with a thumb ligament injury.

Geovany Soto is back on the DL with discomfort in his other knee.

Tommy Hunter is dealing with a non-displaced fracture in a lower-back vertebra.

Andres Blanco is on the DL with a fractured index finger.

Casey Fien (elbow tendinitis) is a Dodger pitcher, so now it is now his time to go on the DL.

Chad Qualls will likely be out the minimum time with colitis.

Joseph Colon is out with an inflamed shoulder.

• It looks like Aaron Barrett had one too many surgeries on his arm and ended up fracturing it (same injury that Jarrod Parker last experienced). His MLB career is likely done.

Chris Hatcher is out for two months with a strained oblique (Dodgers put him on the 60-day DL).

Andrew Triggs is on the DL with a shin contusion.

Will Middlebrooks is out with a strained hamstring.

Ryan Zimmerman is to be activated today.

• While Tyler Skaggs was not officially on the MLB disabled list, but he has been out after Tommy John surgery. He returns to the majors to pitch today.

• Here are a few longer articles on injury-related topics. First, here is an article on how the Giants stay hydrated during a game.

And that’s where Geoff Head, the Giants’ sports science specialist, comes in. When it comes to hydration, Head’s head is soaking with knowledge.

Head collected sweat samples from each player both pre- and post-workout in spring training and ran tests to determine their sodium and potassium levels. He knows the unique electrolyte needs of each player, and passes out bespoke supplements and drinks before, during and after games.

Next, Driveline Baseball found that wearing a sleeve probably doesn’t reduce elbow stress.

In the end, while we are unsure of how accurate the mThrow’s stress measurement is, the data does not support a reduction of UCL stress while using the Bauerfeind EpiTrain Powerguard as measured by the Motus Global sensor package. Subjectively all five of the athletes who threw and wore the sleeve described the experience as something uncomfortable or feeling as though they couldn’t throw hard. The athlete’s physical comfort must obviously be taken into account prior to creating a program and using a new training tool.

At Redleg Nation, Steve Mancuso points out the limitation of IP limits for pitchers in the injury-prevention quest.

Recent research by Dr. Thomas Kerakolis found there was no correlation between workload metrics and future injury risks. He and his colleagues studied 761 pitcher seasons and workloads at the AA and AAA levels. According to their research, relying solely on innings limits doesn’t prevent future injuries because innings are a poor proxy for stress placed on a pitcher’s arm. No two pitchers are alike, some may tire after 40 pitches, while others can throw 120. Different pitches – fastballs vs. sliders, for example – create different stress.

The Pirates seem to be doing everything they can to help the mental health of their players.

Still, teams like the Pirates — and some in the NBA and NFL — are looking for a way to measure and produce more-efficient performance. They want to know who should play and who should rest. They want to know who is recovering well and who is not. They want to know who is over-training and who is under-training.

They want to reduce the duration of slumps and lengthen periods of peak performance.

“You start at green, you’re yellow, you’re red.” Tomczyk said. “We are looking for that video-game meter.”

Fastball velocity reading for pitchers returning from the DL

Matt Cain’s average fastball velocity looks fine.

Gerrit Cole’s velocity is also fine.

Yu Darvish’s velocity is up compared to pre-injury and the same as previous starts this season.

Wade Davis’s velocity is down 2 mph from previous levels.

Jake Diekman’s velocity is down 2 mph after coming off the DL.

Marco Estrada’s is fine.

Felix Hernandez’s is up a bit and more in line with his 2015 values.

Keone Kela’s velocity is up 3 mph compared to earlier this season.

Franklin Morales’s velocity is way down (~4 mph)

Joe Nathan’s velocity is the same as when he threw back in 2014.

Darren O’Day’s is near his season lows.

Eric O’Flaherty’s velocity is fine

Kevin Siegrist’s is down from 2015, but comparable to this season’s values.

Junichi Tazawa’s is fine.

• So is Jameson Taillon’s.

Players on the 2016 DL

The Red players have had updates since the last report. Click on the “Date” for a link to go to the latest article on the player.

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 once, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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6 years ago

I’ve been suspicious of Wade Davis’ return the whole time. Just seems odd that he goes on the DL and less than a week into his DL stint, he’s just fine and basically stating he doesn’t even really need to be on the DL. Both Davis ($10.5M team option next year with a $2.5M buyout) and the Royals (Davis as a trade chip in the tulip market that is closers) have a lot of incentive for everything to be hunky-dory. I can kind of give him a pass on that 7/18/16 appearance where he was 93.7mph since that was only 3 pitches, but 94.4mph in the last appearance is scary and not over 95.3mph since 6/29? To be honest, this reminds me a little of the early stages of Greg Holland’s slide into TJ surgery. . .

BTW, from that article on innings limits, best quote ever from Tom House:
“Baseball is a game of failure coached by negative people in an environment of misinformation,” said Tom House, former big-league pitcher who now heads the baseball research institute at the University of Southern California.