The Red Sox and Yankees are trying to get all of their injuries out of the way…or at least it seems that way. It’s doubtful that these early-season injuries are all that the two teams will have. The pressure of being very evenly matched throughout the season could keep some players on edge and–knowing every game is important–could lead to more diving, sprinting, and colliding in order to get that little extra edge, and potentially more injuries. I’ve said throughout the spring that one of these teams will collapse and miss the playoffs, but I’m not sure which one. Like Vladimir Guerrero last year, a minor disc herniation is becoming a major problem for Trot Nixon. Nixon is following the same protocol–therapy, then injections, then surgery–so the Sox are hoping that like Guerrero, the cortisone injections and a core-strengthening regimen will get Nixon back in mid-May. Use Guerrero as the comp here and you’ll likely be able to spot exactly where Nixon will be back. We’ll know shortly whether the injections worked.
The Astros bench leaves much to be desired. The Brewers have a group of prospects that could be making an impact as early as this season. And the A’s finally forked over the cash to keep one of their young, productive stars. All this and much more news from Houston, Milwaukee, and Oakland in your Monday edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
Hiring a state-of-the-art General Manager does nothing to change a team’s health.
Or does it? Is there any evidence that teams like Oakland, Toronto, and Boston suffer less injuries? Is being medically state-of-the-art different than being front-office smart? It’s a good question, and impossible to answer completely. Due to the hidden nature of most of the data, we’re left looking at imperfect measures like Days Lost to DL and Dollars Lost to DL. In these, there is simply too much luck and the data is too easily skewed.
When the Dodgers lost Darren Dreifort and Kevin Brown in the same season, they doomed themselves to the bottom of the Dollars Lost charts even if the entire team had been healthy. There’s an argument that more progressive management never would have given those contracts to those players, but the Yankees are always at risk with the big-money players they have at, well, every position.