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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.

NYA
Team Audit | Depth Chart
 

Dashboard


2010 Recap
 

2010
 

2009
 

2008
 

2007
2nd in AL East
58 entries
8 DL trips
               

654
TDL

11
DMPI
 

654
TDL
2nd
 

11
DMPI
2nd
 

913
TDL
11th
 

14
DMPI
5th
 

1529
TDL
23rd
 

27
DMPI
20th
 

1260
TDL
20th
 

24
DMPI
10th

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
Derek Jeter

37

12

6

3

Red

Yellow

Yellow
Curtis Granderson

30

31

0

26

Red

Yellow

Yellow
Mark Teixeira

31

4

4

3

Yellow

Yellow

Green
Alex Rodriguez

35

27

44

28

Red

Red

Yellow
Robinson Cano

28

0

1

0

Yellow

Green

Green
Jorge Posada

39

112

37

26

Red

Red

Red
Nick Swisher

30

2

4

14

Yellow

Yellow

Green
Russell Martin

28

0

0

63

Red

Yellow

Yellow
Brett Gardner

27

0

47

6

Red

Red

Yellow
Eduardo Nunez

24

0

0

0

Green

Green

Green
Ramiro Pena

25

0

0

0

Green

Green

Green
Justin Maxwell

27

27

0

0

Yellow

Green

Green
Francisco Cervelli

25

0

0

0

Yellow

Green

Green
Andruw Jones

34

111

15

8

Red

Red

Yellow

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
CC Sabathia

30

0

0

0

Yellow

Green

Green
Phil Hughes

25

136

0

0

Green

Green

Green
A.J. Burnett

34

0

0

5

Yellow

Green

Green
Freddy Garcia

35

0

0

0

Yellow

Yellow

Green
Ivan Nova

24

0

0

0

Green

Green

Green
Sergio Mitre

30

189

42

49

Red

Red

Red
Mariano Rivera

41

8

7

11

Red

Red

Red
Rafael Soriano

31

153

7

0

Yellow

Yellow

Green
David Robertson

26

0

15

11

Green

Green

Green
Pedro Feliciano

34

0

0

1

Yellow

Green

Green
Boone Logan

26

0

0

0

Green

Green

Green
Joba Chamberlain

25

30

1

0

Green

Green

Green

Summary: The 2010 season saw numerous lengthy injuries to some of New York's key names. Jorge Posada (fractured foot), Nick Johnson (wrist surgery), Andy Pettitte (groin strain) and lesser (but still important) pieces such as Damaso Marte (shoulder inflammation) and Alfredo Aceves (lumbar disc) all missed significant time. With the Rays still a factor in the American League East thanks to a strong core and the Red Sox reloading with stars like Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, the Yankees will need to avoid a similar injury situation in 2011 in order to hold out hope for October baseball.

Avoiding injuries is easier said than done, especially after the years have piled up. Birthdays are good fun until you're the same age as some of the Yankees regulars—that's when the aches and pains start multiplying. The Yankees infield includes only one regular under 30; the remaining players are 30, 35, 36, and 39 (though Derek Jeter ranges to his left like a senior citizen). Yankee regulars don't do much frolicking in the green fields of low risk anymore, and they're starting to have trouble remembering what those days were even like.  

The shift to DH will help decrease some risk for Jorge Posada, but there is only so much you can do for a 39-year-old former backstop with his history of wear and tear. Alex Rodriguez is a high risk thanks to recent troubles after a relatively injury-free early career. Since 2008 Rodriguez has been on the disabled list twice and last year suffered many injuries that caused him to miss games; even when ostensibly healthy, his recovery from hip labrum surgery kept him from producing at the level he was capable of at a consistent rate throughout the season.

Only Francisco Cervelli ranks as a low risk among the projected regulars, which is a poor joke given that he was the first one to go down this spring. Jeter, Russell Martin, and Andruw Jones all should be considered very risky from a health standpoint, and both Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher dealt with injuries last season.

The only thing that can be said with any near certainty in the rotation is that CC Sabathia will take the mound every fifth day. Sabathia is the key to the rotation, as he is the lone starter with a history of both fine health and production—Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett need not only to stay healthy but also to pitch well. Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre all have extensive injury histories and are moderate health risks in 2011.

The bullpen is likely to be healthier than the lineup and possibly the starting rotation. Mariano Rivera's innings totals have been dropping ever so slightly, showing that he is not superhuman and is starting to break down from a physiological standpoint. CHIPPER thinks he's a risk to hit the disabled list in 2011 and rates only Damaso Marte as a greater liability. Rafael Soriano could fill the closer role temporarily, but he has his own hazardous injury history.

The Big Risk: Thanks to the lack of rotation depth, the biggest risk to the team is losing Sabathia to an injury. He does rate in the low-risk category, but that doesn’t mean that he's invincible; he did undergo his second surgery on his right knee (addressing either the meniscus or the cartilage) at the end of last year. Sabathia is clearly the ace of the staff, and while Bartolo Colon could fill the role of resident, uh, big-boned pitcher, he wouldn't be anywhere near as useful. Losing Sabathia could also put stress on the bullpen—the one area where health isn't a problem from the outset.

Comeback: Russell Martin wasn't on the Yankees last year, but he still qualifies as their most significant candidate for a comeback from injury. Martin fractured his hip in August and then underwent surgery to address a meniscal tear in his right knee in December. A catcher's knees and hips are crucial to his health over the course of a season—these guys average over 10,000 squats behind the plate per campaign. There aren't any useful comps for the hip, but the work on his knee was a relatively simple procedure without complications.

Best Health: Hughes has the least amount of risk among anyone on the Yankees, a good sign given the injury trouble he experienced earlier in his career.

Worst Health: As you probably gathered from above, it's Posada by a landslide: he has averaged only 94 games per year over the past three seasons. If he goes down this year, at least the Yankees can give top prospect Jesus Montero more time at the plate.