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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.

BOSTON RED SOX
Team Audit | Depth Chart
 

Dashboard


2010 Recap
 

2010
 

2009
 

2008
 

2007
Third in AL East
71 entries
21 DL trips
               

1349
TDL

19
DMPI
 

1349
TDL
27th
 

19
DMPI
12th
 

1073
TDL
19th
 

17
DMPI
10th
 

939
TDL
13th
 

14
DMPI
7th
 

884
TDL
10th
 

18
DMPI
4th

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
Dustin Pedroia

27

0

4

99

Red

Red

Red
Carl Crawford

29

50

4

9

Red

Yellow

Yellow
Adrian Gonzalez

29

0

0

1

Yellow

Green

Green
Kevin Youkilis

32

15

23

69

Red

Red

Red
David Ortiz

35

58

1

0

Red

Yellow

Green
J.D. Drew

35

56

15

17

Red

Red

Yellow
Jacoby Ellsbury

27

6

10

162

Red

Red

Red
Marco Scutaro

35

0

17

4

Yellow

Yellow

Green
Jarrod Saltalamacchia

26

33

57

51

Red

Red

Red
Jed Lowrie

27

0

119

122

Red

Red

Red
Darnell McDonald

32

0

0

1

Yellow

Green

Green
Mike Cameron

38

8

7

113

Red

Red

Red
Jason Varitek

39

8

3

71

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
Jon Lester

27

0

0

0

Green

Green

Green
Josh Beckett

31

49

5

75

Red

Yellow

Yellow
John Lackey

32

53

50

0

Yellow

Yellow

Green
Clay Buchholz

26

18

0

30

Green

Green

Green
Daisuke Matsuzaka

30

31

124

55

Red

Red

Yellow
Tim Wakefield

44

19

62

0

Red

Red

Red
Jonathan Papelbon

30

0

4

1

Yellow

Green

Green
Bobby Jenks

30

18

24

47

Yellow

Yellow

Green
Daniel Bard

26

0

0

0

Green

Green

Green
Dan Wheeler

33

0

0

0

Yellow

Green

Green
Matt Albers

28

95

0

0

Yellow

Green

Green
Hideki Okajima

35

5

0

22

Red

Yellow

Yellow
Scott Atchison

35

0

0

0

Yellow

Yellow

Green

Summary: The 2010 Red Sox were designed with post-season play in mind, but following major injuries to Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis, a third-place finish was all Boston could muster. The Sox have trended downward in regards to health over the last several years, which is due in part to roster construction. Elder statesmen such as Mike Cameron, Mike Lowell and even Boof Bonser missed significant time and are either no longer with the team or have decreased roles for 2011. Even a few of the younger players got in on the act, including Jacoby Ellsbury, who missed a substantial chunk of time thanks to complications from broken ribs that eventually ended his season.

The lineup is looking healthier for the 2011 season. The injuries to Pedroia, Youkilis, Ellsbury, Cameron, and Adrian Gonzalez have all healed—or are close to being fully healed—as Opening Day nears. Not all is peachy in Red Sox Nation, as five out of the eight lineup positions are rated as a high-risk for missing 15-plus games last year (with the remainder rated as moderate risk). The likelihood of losing all of them is obviously extremely low (then again, we could have said the same thing about the 2010 club) but even losing one or two of them over several weeks could be devastating in this year's competitive AL East.

Theo Epstein and the rest of the front office have tried to mitigate this vulnerability via positional flexibility and an improved bench. Cameron and Darnell McDonald provide reliable depth at all three outfield positions, something the team lacked once Ellsbury and Cameron both went down for extended periods of time. The infield has slightly less depth, with the positional flexibility of Jed Lowrie, Youkilis, and Marco Scutaro mitigating the risk to some extent. Lowrie has been working out at first base on top of his previous service across the diamond, though he figures to see most of his time in the middle infield. Jason Varitek is a serviceable backup to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

With no significant changes to the rotation, Boston instead hopes to improve the ability of two of its starters to stay healthy and contribute on the mound. Mike Reinold brought his expertise to Boston from the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI—run by Dr. James Andrews) back in 2005, and since then the pitchers, as a group, have been much healthier than those of most other teams. Fifth starter Daisuke Matsuzaka and spot starter Tim Wakefield are likely to miss time, as they have in each of the past few years. Josh Beckett is considered a more moderate risk, while Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and John Lackey project as minimal risks. In the bullpen, Boston focused on improving last year's group during the offseason by bringing in Bobby Jenks, Matt Albers, and Dan Wheeler; only Jenks comes in as a potential risk, and he’s considered a moderate one.

The big risk: The Red Sox can least afford to lose Youkilis again. The obvious immediate loss of production would be a killer, but the loss of his positional flexibility also has to be factored in. If either he or Gonzalez gets injured, Lowrie would take over at at third, in which case Scutaro would be the full-time shortstop and the depth of the middle infield would be compromised.

Comeback: The second loss of Dustin Pedroia helped to finish Boston off in 2010—the first time around, Bill Hall and Lowrie performed admirably filling in for him. It’s no surprise he failed to return last season when he attempted to, due to the nature of his foot injury. The navicular bone is the capstone of the medial arch and is an important insertion point for multiple ligaments and tendons in the foot. Recovery from surgery performed on the navicular bone can be a lengthy and difficult process, as there is concern that other structures could be compromised by overuse or acute injuries such as tendinitis, stress fractures, and ligament and tendon tears. Pedroia has come along well in camp and does not appear to be favoring the leg at all. He seems poised to slide back into the lineup and once again be a major contributing factor on both sides of the ball.

Best: Jon Lester has proven himself to be the ace and the workhorse of the staff. After his cancer battle early on in his career, Lester has been about as steady as they come from a health standpoint.

Worst: On the other end of the spectrum, J.D. Drew has a long and detailed injury history which has only been picking up steam in the last few years. The presence of Cameron softens this potential injury blow.

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crperry13
3/07
This is a great feature. Finally - a quantitative way to view injuries! One suggestion/favor to ask: Could the formatting of these articles be changed to help the eye jump around easier? It's pretty linear...perhaps more emphasis on subheadings? Serious nitpick, because I enjoyed the article.
hotstatrat
3/08
This was a nice clear health overview. For a nitpick: why choose DMPI to be in bold and the basis of team rankings when total days lost would be more indicitive of how well a team is keeping its players healthy? DMPI isn't even a fair measure of how well a team gets its players to recooperate as there is no constant regarding the severity of the injuries or the ages of the players.
cidawkins
3/08
The hardest part is accounting for the serious injuries that usually require surgeries, such as Tommy John. Regardless of which metric you use, these injuries will skew the numbers some. DMPI helps to limit this moreso than total days lost.
Sacramento
3/08
CHIPPER brings two things to mind for me: Chipper Jones and Fargo. Both seem appropriate for an injury forcasting system.
rbross
3/08
Something to consider, perhaps: What I'd like to see on BP is a page I can go to that will always tell me every single guy in baseball who's injured (organized, perhaps, by team), the nature of his injury, and when you expect him to return. In other words, this would be a continually updated page, but it would include new injuries as well as old ones. ESPN used to have something like this but I'm pretty sure they took it down a season or two ago.
Sacramento
3/08
@ Bob MLB.com has something like that. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/fantasy/wsfb/news/injuries.jsp?tcid=mm_mlb_players
rbross
3/10
awesome. Thanks.