Will Carroll's Under The Knife is called the "industry standard" by
Peter Gammons and that's good enough for us. Carroll's groundbreaking
work on injuries have led to it becoming a standard part of the
discussion in baseball. Whether you're a fantasy fan or checking out
how your team will be without a star, there's simply no other place to
get this kind of daily information.
Reviewing how badly each team's been hit by its assorted hurts.
For the last five years, we've been collecting injury data based off the official DL reports. While this data isn't complete, since the DL alone doesn't tell the full injury story, it is the only consistent source. By adding extra information to the database, we've been able to establish timelines, baselines, and guidelines for injuries, as well as using it as part of the Team Health Report prediction system. Since teams are starting to take note of this type of exercise, why not take a mid-season look here at the All-Star break, and see if we can find anything of note?
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Thank goodness for Stan Conte, the Braves deal with aches and pains, and Jorge Posada's shoulder is worse than initially thought.
Chipper Jones (3 DXL) John Smoltz (7 DXL)
The Braves understand that one of the risks involved with older, injury-prone players is that they're going to need to go to their backups. The team has them in place, but they'd hoped they wouldn't have to use them quite yet; it's one thing to have Plan B in place, and quite another to put Plan B in the rotation or in place of your hottest hitter. Smoltz is no stranger to shoulder problems, but normally they've been coming towards the end of seasons, which would make fatigue a contributing factor. With these latest problems coming so early in the season, we have to hope that fatigue isn't the issue, but at this stage, it doesn't seem like the Braves really know what's involved. Sources tell me that the soreness is in a "lower area" than what had him on the DL at the start of the year. They'll wait for the shoulder to calm down before further examination, an indication that there's an inflammatory process going on. He'll miss a start and could hit the DL after a scheduled examination on Tuesday. The Braves will also be without Jones until at least Tuesday; he described the back spasms he experienced over the weekend as a "sledgehammer in the back." That doesn't sound good, but Jones tends to heal quickly and come back at normal capacity. His small injuries-quad, back, foot-are already adding up, but Jones is hitting through all of them, so assess your level of risk tolerance. Bobby Cox is used to this.
The Cubs shuffle through pitching options, the Brewers have one of the most interesting rosters in the game, and the Dodgers fight through injuries as they try to stay in the race. This and much more in Transaction Analysis.