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March 25, 2011

Team Injury Projection

Pittsburgh Pirates

by Corey Dawkins and Marc Normandin

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Team Injury Projections

The Team Injury Projections are here, driven by our brand new injury forecasting system, the Comprehensive Health Index [of] Pitchers [and] Players [with] Evaluative Results—or, more succinctly, CHIPPER. Thanks to work by Colin Wyers and Dan Turkenkopf and a database loaded with injuries dating back to the 2002 season—that's nearly 4,600 players and well over 400,000 days lost to injury—we now have a system that produces injury-risk assessments to three different degrees. CHIPPER projects ratings for players based on their injury history—these ratings measure the probability of a player missing one or more games, 15 or more games, or 30 or more games. CHIPPER will have additional features added to it throughout the spring and early season that will enhance the accuracy of our injury coverage.

These ratings are also available in the Player Forecast Manager (pfm.baseballprospectus.com), where they'll be sortable by league or position—you won’t have to wait for us to finish writing this series in order to see the health ratings for all of the players.

PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Team Audit | Depth Chart
 

Dashboard

2010 Recap
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
 
2007
6th in NL Central
49 entries
11 DL trips
               
846
TDL
17
DMPI
 
846
TDL
15th
 
17
DMPI
8th
 
885
TDL
7th
 
20
DMPI
13th
 
536
TDL
2nd
 
12
DMPI
1st
 
567
TDL
4th
 
11
DMPI
1st

Hitters in approximate Depth Charts order at time of publication

 
Days Lost to Injury
2011 Injury Risk
Player
Age
2008
2009
2010
1-day
15-days
30-days
Andrew McCutchen
24
0
0
9
Yellow
Green
Green
Jose Tabata
22
0
0
0
Yellow
Green
Green
Neil Walker
25
0
0
7
Yellow
Green
Green
Pedro Alvarez
23
0
0
0
Yellow
Green
Green
Lyle Overbay
34
2
3
6
Red
Yellow
Green
Garrett Jones
30
0
2
2
Yellow
Green
Green
Ronny Cedeno
28
2
29
9
Yellow
Yellow
Green
Chris Snyder
30
21
82
0
Red
Red
Yellow
John Bowker
27
0
0
1
Yellow
Green
Green
Matt Diaz
33
119
3
45
Red
Red
Red
Steve Pearce
28
0
0
135
Red
Red
Red
Pedro Ciriaco
25
0
0
0
Red
Red
Yellow
Jason Jaramillo
28
0
0
0
Green
Green
Green
Ryan Doumit
30
29
86
19
Red
Red
Red

Pitchers in approximate Depth Charts order at time of publication

 
Days Lost to Injury
2011 Injury Risk
Player
Age
2008
2009
2010
1-day
15-days
30-days
Paul Maholm
29
0
0
7
Yellow
Green
Green
Ross Ohlendorf
28
0
0
69
Yellow
Green
Green
Kevin Correia
30
49
0
0
Yellow
Green
Green
James McDonald
26
0
0
0
Green
Green
Green
Charlie Morton
27
24
91
35
Yellow
Yellow
Green
Scott Olsen
27
0
129
84
Red
Yellow
Yellow
Joel Hanrahan
29
0
11
17
Yellow
Green
Green
Chris Resop
28
0
0
61
Yellow
Yellow
Green
Evan Meek
28
0
54
10
Yellow
Green
Green
Joe Beimel
34
0
15
0
Yellow
Yellow
Green
Jose Veras
30
0
0
0
Yellow
Green
Green
Jeff Karstens
28
69
15
39
Yellow
Yellow
Green
Brian Burres
30
6
0
0
Yellow
Green
Green
Brad Lincoln
26
0
0
0
Green
Green
Green

Summary: The Pirates have been terrible at many things for many years, but they have maintained a relatively clean bill of health recently. However, plenty of injuries have appeared on their ledger: they've simply managed to miss significantly less time than most other teams despite getting hurt more often.

That trend could change in 2011, as there is a good chance that several players will end up missing significant time. Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder have both hurt themselves within the last three seasons, and each carries the additional risk posed by having to crouch behind the plate on a regular basis. At first base, Lyle Overbay does bring some stability and experience to the Pirates that they lacked in 2010, though his age puts him at a moderate risk for injury.

At least two of the team's younger, more talented players—Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez—are expected to stay on the field. Ronny Cedeno is a moderate risk to land on the DL, but he's not so fragile that he won't be able to "contribute" at shortstop on a near-daily basis. The outfield should be stable, as Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, and Garrett Jones all appear to be safe bets to stay healthy in 2011, according to CHIPPER.

With the exception of one 34-year-old hurler, the age of every pitcher on the staff falls between 26 and 30. This tight grouping may be a reason for the lower injury risk rate throughout. Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, and newly-signed Opening Day starter Kevin Correia are all low-risk pitchers, so there is at least some chance that the middle of the middling staff will be stable. James McDonald—who has the potential to be a high-quality starter—rates green across the board, though an injury to his side this spring caused Pirates fans and fantasy owners alike to hold their collective breath. Charlie Morton isn't a given to land on the DL, but he has had repeated injuries to his upper extremities. In 2010, Morton missed significant time due to fatigue in his shoulder. Joel Hanrahan is showing signs that he may be putting a few entries into the database in 2011. He has suffered several injuries to his elbow, potential first steps toward a more serious injury down the road.

The Big Risk: McCutchen is the player whom the Bucs can least afford to lose. He was the first of the group of young and talented Pirates whose production has given fans (slivers of) hope. If he is lost, Tabata would likely switch to center field, giving our double-crossboned friend Matt Diaz a full-time gig in a corner. Lefty mashers are great to have around when they are facing left-handers, but unfortunately for Diaz and the Pirates, many more innings are thrown by right-handers. With Diaz in the outfield full-time, there is a significant chance that a domino effect could occur.

Comeback: Steven Pearce had a patellar tendon repair performed on his left knee in August of 2010. The repair of a partial patellar tendon tear hasn’t been done nearly as often as most other procedures, according to the database, but it’s not a once-in-a-decade surgery. Pearce likely won’t be playing every day with Lyle Overbay in town, but the fact that he could come back fully healthy is noteworthy.

Best Health: Jason Jaramillo does not have any records in the database, so we'll give him the honors.

Worst Health: Diaz has had three surgeries in the last two years to go along with a PCL strain in 2008.

Corey Dawkins is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Corey's other articles. You can contact Corey by clicking here

Related Content:  Injury,  Jose Tabata,  Lyle Overbay,  Steve Pearce

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