I wrote yesterday, without much explanation, that there is no correlation
between age and injury. My statement came from a study using MLB data (the
Redbook) that, unfortunately, I cannot publish. I had several BP authors check
my work, and we’ve concluded that I wasn’t correct.
While there’s a small correlation (0.1415) when looking at the entire
population of players, there is such a small population at the extremes that
if one takes out the edges until there’s a population of at least 50 in each
group, the correlation goes up to 0.5629, which Jeff Hildebrand tells me is
significant. Looking at the charts for injury type, there’s not as clear a
pattern, so I’m going to dig into this more and get back to you. Until then, I’ll stop trying to correct Billy Beane.
- As I reported yesterday, Eric Hinske is out for four to six weeks after electing to have surgery. The doctors will remove his fractured right hamate bone and he should return pain-free. While this is a blow to the Jays, Hinske (-.112 MLVr) has been hitting well below both last year’s performance (.146) and his PECOTA projection (.147). Mike Bordick (-.077) is actually a slight upgrade based on current performance, but without the pesky upside.
With young pitchers, erring on the side of caution is seldom a bad move. For
the Royals, keeping Runelvys Hernandez healthy for the long term is
much more important than his missing one or even two starts in May. Hernandez
had a fine bullpen session, but after a discussion with Tony Pena and John
Cumberland, the Royals placed the right-hander on the DL with elbow tendinitis. He is eligible to return on June 5, meaning he should miss only one start.
This time, it happened on the field. David Wells will miss a start
after exhibiting a “giant [bleep]ing bruise” on his right calf, the
result of a Josh Phelps screamer Sunday afternoon. Wells will be fine
long-term, and his absence means we’ll get a good look at Jose
Contreras in his first start. Oddly, this
will be the first missed start by a Yankees pitcher this season, a fact that
surprised me when I saw it at Rotowire.
Leo Mazzone may be a genius, but Dodgers pitching coach Jim Colborn just might
be a miracle worker. His adjustments to the delivery of Darren Dreifort have him not only effective, but healthy. Video on Dreifort shows a stark
difference between his former cross-bodied motion and his current in-line
delivery. I’m still far from expecting Dreifort to make it through a full
season healthy, but he’s a lot closer to it now than he’s been at any point in
his professional career.
Robby Alomar is having leg problems…again. Days after experiencing
thigh problems, Alomar left Tuesday’s game with a strained hip flexor. The
injury is not serious, but combined with his other injuries this season,
Alomar is bordering on the broken-down. Each new ache or pain will make it
harder for the Mets to deal Alomar and his salary.
Marcus Giles has always been full of potential, yet derailed by bad
luck time and time again. When he took a Jimmy Haynes pitch off his
elbow Tuesday night, it looked briefly like his brutal luck had reared its
ugly head again. X-rays came back negative, however, so Giles should miss just
a few games–if that–in what looks like his breakout season.
Another breakout candidate this year was Carlos Pena, but despite a
three-homer game last week that put him on a lot of radar screens, Pena is still not
hitting like many expected him to. He left Tuesday’s game with a strained
calf, and it looks like he’ll miss more than a couple games and could get
placed on the DL. Pena can’t afford to lose much time, even on a team playing
this badly. Pena, you might have noticed, hasn’t had a bomb since his big
Quick cuts: MLB took a look at the Wrigley Field mound. To no one’s surprise,
the mound was 2.5 inches too tall and a bit too “peaky.” The grounds
crew fixed the mound and umpiring crews have been asked to monitor the mound
to make sure that the Trib doesn’t do to the mound what they’re doing to
ticket prices…David Cone was activated from the DL and will work from
the bullpen…Someone actually wanted Alex Sanchez? He had to go after
John Vander Wal savaged him in the press. Oops, was that supposed to be
anonymous, John?…Mark Redman will come off the DL and start for the
Scalies on Friday.
There should be an archive of this week’s BPR posted prominently on the site soon. Please try and ignore the fact that I sound like
crap for the first minute–technical difficulties–and move on to three
great segments with Rob Neyer, Rany Jazayerli, and Mark Armour. Yes, last week’s show was done live (so you’ll hear some commercials) as a test run for this week’s call-in show.
Now for the big news. We’ve had Pizza Feeds and Smoked Meat Feeds and Drinking
with Derek Feeds, but for the first time, Baseball Prospectus is having a Road
Trip Feed. I’ve teased it for a couple days now but the announcement is ready:
BP is heading to the All-Star Home Run Derby!
The trip is in association with ESPN 950 in Indianapolis and
is based from Indy, but we can make it work from anywhere. We’ll have two
buses leaving Indianapolis on Monday, July 14 at 10 a.m. We’ll get to Chicago
in time for people to head to Michigan Avenue and shop or see the sights while
I set up at the ESPN Zone for a live radio broadcast from 3-5 p.m. Everyone’s
welcome to come by, eat some grub, and ask your questions live. We’re hoping to get drop-in appearances by a few special
guests. After the show, we’ll get back in the bus and head to whatever they’re
calling the park where the White Sox play. We’ll have outfield seats and will
surely see balls raining on our heads, so bring your mitt! We’ll then bus back
to Indy after the game, avoiding the parking problems of the South Side.
Not in Indy? Fine. We’ll meet you at ESPNZone with your tickets. The cost is
$295, but well worth the money. For more details, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (888)782-1583 and ask about the
All-Star Home Run Derby Package. There are a very limited number of seats
available, so don’t wait!