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March 11, 2011

Team Injury Projection

New York Mets

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.

NEW YORK METS
Team Audit | Depth Chart
 

Dashboard

2010 Recap
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
 
2007
Finish here
48 entries
14 DL trips
               
1145
TDL
24
DMPI
 
1145
TDL
25th
 
24
DMPI
22nd
 
1797
TDL
30th
 
30
DMPI
27th
 
1717
TDL
29th
 
32
DMPI
24th
 
1314
TDL
23rd
 
31
DMPI
23rd

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
Jose Reyes
28
3
141
44
Red
Red
Red
Angel Pagan
29
142
89
8
Red
Red
Red
Carlos Beltran
34
2
84
114
Red
Red
Red
David Wright
28
1
16
1
Yellow
Yellow
Green
Jason Bay
32
3
9
71
Red
Red
Red
Ike Davis
24
0
0
0
Yellow
Green
Green
Josh Thole
24
0
0
0
Yellow
Green
Green
Luis Castillo
35
60
7
51
Red
Red
Yellow
Luis Hernandez
27
1
0
15
Red
Yellow
Green
Ruben Tejada
21
0
0
0
Green
Green
Green
Willie Harris
33
0
16
1
Yellow
Yellow
Green
Lucas Duda
25
0
0
0
Yellow
Green
Green
Scott Hairston
31
36
42
17
Red
Red
Yellow
Nick Evans
25
0
0
0
Yellow
Green
Green
Ronny Paulino
30
0
0
5
Yellow
Green
Green

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
Mike Pelfrey
27
0
11
3
Green
Green
Green
Jonathon Niese
24
0
60
19
Yellow
Green
Green
Chris Young
32
95
112
164
Red
Red
Red
R.A. Dickey
36
0
0
0
Yellow
Yellow
Green
Chris Capuano
32
199
0
0
Yellow
Yellow
Yellow
Johan Santana
32
0
45
31
Yellow
Yellow
Green
Francisco Rodriguez
29
6
2
52
Yellow
Green
Green
Manny Acosta
30
47
0
0
Yellow
Green
Green
Bobby Parnell
26
0
0
15
Green
Green
Green
Tim Byrdak
37
0
0
27
Red
Yellow
Yellow
D.J. Carrasco
34
0
13
12
Yellow
Yellow
Green
Pat Misch
29
0
0
0
Green
Green
Green
Dillon Gee
25
0
0
0
Green
Green
Green
Oliver Perez
29
0
108
50
Red
Red
Yellow
Taylor Buchholz
29
19
200
138
Red
Red
Red

Summary: Before pitchers and catchers even reported last season, the Mets experienced a health-related public relations meltdown, as Carlos Beltran had surgery on his right knee—supposedly without management's blessing or knowledge. The procedure was paid for with workers' compensation paperwork signed by the Mets, who, as we just said, claimed they had no idea this was happening. (Was the previous front office that inept? Did Beltran go out of his way to trick the Mets into signing a piece of paper using some kind of wacky, fit-for-television plot of his own devising? Would it surprise you if the previous Mets' administration fell for Beltran's plan to dress up as an old woman in order to pretend to promote a blood drive or sell magazine subscriptions? Before you answer, remember: Oliver Perez.)

After years of sitting near the bottom of the injury rankings, questions began popping up about the team's medical staff. It's a little crazy to believe that the medical folks alone were responsible for the Mets' consistent inability to stay on the field: roster construction also plays a large role here. When you build around players with injury histories or significant risk of injury, you must live with the likelihood that they will eventually get hurt. Ask Johan Santana, John Maine, Jason Bay, Kelvim Escobar, and Jose Reyes, to name a few. (How about we just avoid the story of how Francisco Rodriguez injured his thumb, since it has very little to do with how the medical staff operates?)

Fans are going to have to hope for success to come from the revamped front office this year, as there is little to hope for from an injury standpoint. Only David Wright and Ronny Paulino rate as low risks in this year's projected lineup. Beltran’s knee woes have been well documented, and he has needed time off this spring to deal with continued soreness (though surely some of the time off has been planned). Scott Hairston, Bay, and Luis Castillo all are rated as very high risks. Reyes is a high risk who has shown that he needs to be healthy to be productive. Maybe the front office saved its money this winter knowing that it would likely need to pick up another avalanche of doctor's bills.

We know Santana probably won't be back before June. Mike Pelfrey and R.A. Dickey are the lone starters with even a remotely healthy past. CHIPPER is somewhat merciful, rating both Pelfrey and Jonathan Niese as low risks, but remember that Niese tired down the stretch last year and hasn't yet shown that he can hit the 200-innings mark. The rest of the rotation members are all at least at moderate risk to end up on the DL. The Mets simply don't have the depth at this position to cover for injuries over a long stretch, especially any damages to their top two arms.

The Big Risk: Beltran has garnered plenty of attention throughout the spring, and most of it hasn't been for good reasons. While it’s expected that his knee would act up or that adjustments would have to be made to his training regimen, his history of trunk and leg strains, concussion, and neck pain are concerning. His monster seasons in years past are becoming a distant memory, but the Mets do need and expect some production from the middle-of-the-order hitter. Beltran is rated as the highest risk for all the position players on the Mets, and given the options to replace him, may not be someone they can afford to lose.

Comeback: After missing 70 days in 2010 and finishing the season on the disabled list, Jason Bay will be looking to put his concussion behind him. Concussions are very individualized, as we've seen when discussing cases like Justin Morneau's or Jason LaRue's. Bay's concussion ended a disappointing debut season with the Mets, as his symptoms lingered into the fall. His return should help stabilize the outfield and the lineup, which will be sorely needed if Beltran can't play every day.

Best Health: Niese profiles as the lowest risk, though as we warned, his fatigue issues could be a problem.

Worst Health: If you've read this far, you've probably already guessed that it's Beltran.

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,  Jonathan Niese,  Year Of The Injury

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