Medical Sabermetrics

MAJOR NEWS UPDATE:

Lou Piniella will resign after today's game vs Atlanta. His mother's health has not improved and instead of going the medical leave of absence route again, he's handing over the managerial chores to...THE FORMER IOWA CUB MANAGER... drumroll, please...[[[Mike Quade]]]. Pfffft.


There is a segment of the news reporters who actually cover medical meetings and try their hand at using medical lingo on their readers. I found this article online (and several other sources picked it up including the LA Times) but it originates from a news feed that the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine provided after their 2010 annual meeting from Providence, RI.

This is clearly an epidemiologic study. I'm thinking medical sabermetrics is a better term.

The study was based on data from MLB's disabled list published online data from 2002-2008, so it didn't really need a doctor to do this, it probably was done by a doctor who is a baseball junkie. Hmmm.

Dr. (and Major) Matthew Posner took the raw information and tabulated the frequency and distribution of injuries by anatomic site, position, AL vs NL and time of season (before or after the All-Star break). Nicely done. Clean and simple.

"Even though baseball is a passion of many people and our national pastime, there is very little information about the epidemiology, characteristics or distribution of injuries in Major League Baseball,” said Maj., Matthew Posner, MD, orthopaedic surgeon at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. “This study attempts to evaluate Major League injuries over the period of six years.”

On to Dr. Posner's findings after the jump...

The raw data:

•3,072 players were placed on the disabled list from the 2002 season through 2008, an average of 438.9 per year.

•The high during the period was 516 in 2008, and the low was 388 in 2005.

The major findings: Arms>Legs>Backs>Core (ribs/abdomenals)

•51.4% of all injuries during the period were to the upper extremities.
•30.6% were to lower extremities.
•7.4% were back injuries.
•4.3% were injuries to core muscles.

Next finding, pitchers are fragile: D'oh, but impressive considering there is an 8:1 ratio of fielders:pitchers during games. Of course some injuries don't happen during games (see Clint Barmes inury). I'd love to see stats for catchers or a breakdown of fielders who get injured batting or baserunning. The catcher data was apparently, not in the study. The batting/baserunning data would take a little more research outside of a DL list.

•Pitchers spent a greater proportion of days on the disability list, 62.4%, compared to 37.6% for fielders.

The obvious is verified, but now it's quantified: Pitchers tend to hurt their arms!

•Pitchers accounted for 67% of upper extremity injuries, compared to
fielders, who had more lower extremity injuries and injuries to other
regions.
•Fielders had a greater proportion of lower extremity injures, 47.5% compared to 16.9% for pitchers.

NL vs AL: Identical patterns.

•National League players injured their upper extremities 51.7 percent of
the time, lower extremities 30.7 percent and other anatomic regions 17.7
percent.
•American League players injured their upper extremities 51.1 percent of
the time, lower extremities 30.5 percent and other anatomic regions 18.4
percent, according to the study.

Timing of Injury: Mostly before the All-Star Break (74.4%)

•79% of shoulder and elbow injuries happened before the All-Star Break
•74.8% of the other injuries (groin, hamstrings, quads, trunk/core)
before the A-S game.
•Pitchers sustained 76.5% and fielders sustained 71.7% of their total respective injuries prior to the All-Star game.

I just might be crazy enough to build on Dr. Posner's work and do a Cub specific review of that readily available DL data (sounds like an off season project...although this entire season has been an off-season). That should be interesting in light of these published league norms to compare to.

I have followed Baseball Prospectus' Will Carroll epidemiologic (medical sabermetrics?) work.  He gives out the now annual Dick Martin Award to the best team medical staff (last recipient was the Phillies, Cubs now in the top one-third!). In a previous TCR article, The Cubs Trainer vs. The Secretive Nature of the Industry, I detailed the Cubs head trainer (yes, he works on all body parts), Mark O'Neal in the context of the BP Dick Martin award. I also wrote about the 2010 Cubs in the context of Will Carroll's health report ratings and the data that he tracks, Running a Yellow Light.

Baseball prospectus posted an excellent chart for the 2009 season, days lost to injury (sabermetrically speaking, D-LOIN?) vs salary lost, as a percentage of total team payroll (S-LOIN?).

The award is based on a number of factors, including but not limited to quantitative measures such as days lost to the DL, dollars lost to the DL, percentage of payroll lost to the DL, and year-over-year improvements and trends regarding these numbers.

Here's BP's charts for the 2004 and  2005 seasons. The Cubs were in the bottom half back then. It was in the black hole center of the Wood/Prior days.

Maybe that's one more thing Tom Ricketts should put on Ari Kaplan's To-Do list (Ricketts hired Kaplan as Cub manager of statistical analysis this past June).

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Comments

So long Lou todays game is his last

Mike Quade your up next.

┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐

here's the mlb.com link, note it's not Carrie Muskat writing. It seems Lou's mom is very ill, if it's related to the other LOA.

http://cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2010...

As many know, the several weeks since that announcement was made have been very difficult on a family level, requiring two leaves of absence from the club. While I fully intended to manage this club the rest of the season, a family situation at home now requires my full attention."

I don't want to sound insensitive...I wish the best for his mom...but this is a great excuse for Lou to leave. No admittance of failure or exhaustion or complete and utter apathy. Good riddance to Lou and good health to his mom.

I can't wait for Quade's first shitty lineup.

I can't wait for 2011 2012

Poor Lou. First he sat by watching his team die. Then he sat through watching his career die. Now he's heading home to watch his mother die. Rough year.

lou quits on a team...what's new.

hope his ma pulls though, though...it's been a rough year from his family to his job and probably points in between, too.

im sure he'd rather not go out like this...i think.

Pinella's last lineup ... leadoff hitter's OBP is the same as the pitcher's. Good times. Gonna miss you, buddy.

Hendry on why Quade. Trammell out as managerial candidate...and some coaching moving chairs.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

General manager Jim Hendry chose Quade over bench coach Alan Trammell, who had been serving as acting manager during several Piniella absences this summer, because he will not consider Trammell to be Piniella’s permanent replacement. Hendry said Quade will be a candidate.

``I made the decision [Saturday],’’ Hendry said of selecting Quade. ``He’s been with us quite a while. He has experience and knows our [young] players. I feel he’ll be good at it.’’

Hendry said the rest of the coaching staff will remain intact through this season with first base coach Ivan DeJesus moving to third base coaching duties. Trammell, who managed the Detroit Tigers, will remain as bench coach as well. A roving minor league instructor will be added to the staff to fill Quade’s coaching vacancy.

Mike Quade is just a bald Bruce Kimm.

He's always looked sort of like Tooter Turtle to me.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://cd...

"A roving minor league instructor will be added to the staff to fill Quade’s coaching vacancy."
---
Things that make you say, hmmmm.

Roving instructors. The cubs currently have three (info courtesy of Az Phil, see link)

1) Marty Pevey, roving catching instructor

2) Franklin Font - Roving Infield & Bunting Instructor

3) Bob Dernier, roving OF and Baserunning instructor...and half of the 1984 "Daily Double"

http://www.thecubreporter.com/2010/02/26/i-go...

dernier deserves it, imo...his work is a couple weeks from being over anyway.

Hendry interviewed by Len/Bob on telecast. (not quotes)

Hendry watched Lou play HS basketball when JH was 6 yrs old.

Len: What legacy does JH: Lou leave? JH: 2007 season was really good and we had the best team in 2008. It's a good year if we get in to the playoffs and not if we don't.

BB: Lou helped raise the expectations of the fans/club to get into the playoffs.

Len asked JH to comment on the DLee era. JH: DLee wanted to be in the lineup every day. Old school, great guy

Len asked about Quade. JH: We're not looking at this just to play it out. Randy Bush and I have alot to learn about this club. Trammell because he wasn't being tabbed to interim manage, to be fair to him, was told he's not a candidate to manage next year.

Us to JH: Have you freshened up your resume? Where's your key for the executive bathroom?

mike minor with 9Ks through 3.1ip

fuck this team.

though absolutely unrelated i think this sums up this season in a nutshell...somehow...maybe not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6eMW0cEXY0

...also, minor with 12Ks through 6ip and he's most likely done

At first, I couldn't understand what that video would have to do with the Cubs' season. After watching, it's clearly an appropriate metaphor.

Starlin Castro is the guy with the baby blue Stratocaster.

Minor holding the Cubs down isn't a surprise. It seems that anytime we see a pitcher for the first time, they shut us down, especially lefties, for some reason. That was going on all the way back when Dusty was the manager. At least the team doesn't want to shock Lou into a heart attack and do something different on his last day.

you need rest

i need lots of things

Streaky and Freaky.

Aram with two hits (and 4 multi-hit games in a row) has upped his batting average to .242, with Soriano at .258 I'm thinkin' that Ramirez will wind up with a higher BA than Sori.

Ugly season. Some stats just don't tell the real story.

holy crap this team is fundamentally mindcrapping all over the place.

no amount of extra fielding practice, laps, or benching can teach someone something they've known since highschool. ugggg....

Soriano ran in for that ball like his feet were in cement, which isn't a bad idea. Time to take him fishing on Lake Michigan.

It's 13-3 and the Cubs are playing the infield in.

Soriano's stone glove drops another two out fly ball (Alex Gonzalez) in a diving attempt, then Cubbery salute's the Lou Piniella era when they get the hitter/runner (Alex Gonzalez) in a pickle between 1st and 2nd, while the runner at 3rd (Melky Cabrera) cruises home for the third run on the play. 9-3 Bravos.

Koyie Hill approves.

The organist should play the Benny Hill music anytime the ball is hit in play.

Watching the replay on DLee's first "hit" as a Brave, I really think ARam gave him a gift and over acted.

2010 cubs bullpen...

best bullpen in baseball...or best bullpen ever?

dlee with a 3 run double...13-3...enjoy your retirement, lou...here's your parting gift.

and Soriano taking knucklehead pills, instead of fearing the OF wall, he's developed a fear of crashing into Starlin Castro

...then DLee hits a 3 run double to the LF corner and Brenly criticizes ARam for failing to get in front of a ground ball again (DLee's double), as he plays another one off to the side. 14-3. Cubs really showing their appreciation for Lou's talents this season.

...and Jeff Stevens picks up a save for Iowa on a pop fly to Bobby Scales. Iowa 3-2 over Nashville.
Jay Jackson 5IP, 6H, 2R, 6K's, 1BB, 1HR and a win (10-8)

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/gameday/in...

imo, castro needs to learn how/where to field his position. i've seen him interfere with too many plays in the OF, both LF and CF. it's getting stupid and dangerous.

he's a young kid and all, but between that and the "i can get everyone out" ill-advised throws he should just hold onto...it's getting hard to watch.

That brenley comment about aram was awesome.

go draft choice!

The timing of injury stat in this article is flawed. 74.4% of injuries happen before the All-Star break, according to the study. But it's likely not taking into account that players are rarely, if ever, placed on the DL in September due to the expanded rosters.

So the first half of the season encompasses April, May, June, and 1-2 weeks of July, while after the break only includes 2-3 weeks of July and all of August. That's almost 3:1 ratio. Then figure in that players placed on the DL in Spring Training who miss regular season time is most likely included in the stat, and it's just out of whack.

The timing of injury stat in this article is flawed
---
agreed Paul.

...and of course the All-Star break isn't at game 81; so it's really a poor way to divide the season into halves. Still it's a start and was obviously a no-brainer of a project considering it didn't take much of a database to analyze . Also, who knows how much of a baseball fan the author is. I'm sure he started in 2002 only because the website data he used happened to start there and the website data might have used the All-Star break as a dividing line. I doubt he looked up when the All-Star break actually was.

Cody Ross to Giants on a waiver claim award

Strasburg to see Dr. Andrews (per a Will Carroll tweet, which I can't seem to find)

Jason Heyward starts and ends Lou's season with HR's and 16-5 losses to the Braves.

Bob Brenly says the food will taste just a little better tomorrow for Lou.

Randy Wells with 5 straight losses.

and Starlin Castro gets his 4th hit, three 4 hit games; 2 doubles, 2 singles and a K (now at .316)

WSux lose in 10 to KC (and drop 2-3 of that series keeping their series loss streak intact at 5), 3-2. good ol' Scott Linebrink. Twins vs Rob's Angelfan wife's team is the Sunday night game.

surprised cody didn't go before the deadline...yanks supposedly wanted him badly before they snagged berkman.

he's one of my all-time favorite midget power hitters. shame his knees were so balky early in his career.

lou so didn't wanna go out like this...

it's not an epic post-game, but lou's walking away from something he's devoted his whole life to.

okay, he's crying now.

It's sad he's ending his almost 50 year major league career on this note. I feel for him, even though I wasn't thrilled about his managing job this season. But I will add that Hendry gave him a poor roster, and the players played like crap.

yeah, this isn't how he envisioned ending his career i'd imagine.

it's not like he went down in disgrace, but it's been his life.

Zambrano being classless to the end (or smart enough not to get suckered into saying something questionable?):

"Pitcher Carlos Zambrano, who was sent home after a dugout tirade by Piniella and was later suspended, refused comment (on Lou's retirement)."

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/08/...

maybe he's got his reasons...heh...

Maybe he knows how to make up a lineup card.

Ouch! Hahaha.

Randy Wells sucks ass.

I was hopeful, at the VERY LEAST, he could have had the arrow going in the up direction after last year.

But no.

He sucks. Along with the entire bullpen except for two people.

Last year Wells was incredibly lucky. This year, he's been pretty unlucky. I'm sure next year you'll feel better about him again.

Is it possible to give Hendry's mother whatever's Lou's mom has so we can be rid of him this week too?

That isn't funny whether I like Hendry or not.

Go rent the movie, "Big Fan", and remind yourself over and over again if need be that this is just a game and it's ultimately meaningless.

You mean, make Hendry's mother 90? Because that's what is ailing Lou's mom. I am pretty sure there is no cure for that.

Dying family members! Hahaha... what a riot.

So, umm... you're kind of an asshole.

I take it as a try for humor that went way flat. Bad taste, but no serious ill intent.

That's where I'm at. Let's not mob the dude...insenstive joke, doesn't make him a horrible person.

How does a team get the same number of hits as their opponent, yet score 11 less runs?

Yeah, I know the Braves had 6 more walks, but that is some serious Cubbery.

Defense matters, it seems.

Someone alert the media! Quickly!

it doesn't help winning when k.hill's skills have declined to the point he no longer adds significant mph to a pitcher's fastball when he catches.

the past few months he's only good for 1mph more...2mph on a good day.

defense is overrated. proper backup catching is the cornerstone of the game.

awesome monday morning lolz

Death by Cubbery.

just like the 2010 Cubs, you got old quick.

Better than Dusty, but time for everyone to move on...

Good post btw Dr. Hecht. I actually have the Cubs injuries broken down somewhat between 2002-2008 if it helps your future study.

Yes, nice post, Doc.

Anyone think Bobby Scales gets a September call up? I'd like to see him come up just to reward him with a month of major league salary. I like underdogs who hang around the minors that long.

I'd also like to hear from Mike Wellman on how Marquez Smith looks at 3b. His minor league fielding stats look so-so, but he is having a nice year with the bat at Iowa. But he is only listed at 5' 10", the same height the Cubs have both Darwin Barney and Sam Fuld listed at. LOL. Smith probably isn't going to develop into a consistent power threat given his size unless he starts taking some shots.

Submitted by Paul Noce on Sun, 08/22/2010 - 11:54pm.
Yes, nice post, Doc.

Anyone think Bobby Scales gets a September call up? I'd like to see him come up just to reward him with a month of major league salary. I like underdogs who hang around the minors that long.

I'd also like to hear from Mike Wellman on how Marquez Smith looks at 3b. His minor league fielding stats look so-so, but he is having a nice year with the bat at Iowa. But he is only listed at 5' 10", the same height the Cubs have both Darwin Barney and Sam Fuld listed at. LOL. Smith probably isn't going to develop into a consistent power threat given his size unless he starts taking some shots.

============================================

PAUL: I'll let Mike W. comment on how Marquez Smith has looked at 3B since his arrival at Iowa, but from from having seen him in Minor League Camp over the past few seasons, I would say he is on a par defensively with Aramis Ramirez at 3B, meaning he is passable as long as he is productive at the plate. He is a better fielder than he is a thrower (he has a bit of a scatter-gun arm), so he has been tried at 2B, but he's kind of stiff there. He is a natural 3B.

Smith has been a consistent 15-18 HR a year guy throughout his minor league career, and I think he could very reasonably do that in the big leagues, too. He has a stocky but powerful build, and while he won't lead the league in HR, he is fully capable of hitting the long ball fairly often.

I would compare his offensive potential to one-time Cub 3B Steve Ontiveros, or more-recent MLB 3B like Joe Randa, Shea Hillenbrand, David Bell, or Jeff Cirillo, sort of the protypical #6 hitter.

Thanks, AZ.

Most of those guys, Ontiveros with the Cubs a notable exception, were very good defenders. If you're going to hit 15-18 HR's at the hot corner, you better be one helluva defender - particuarly for the Cubs.

My first thought after seeing him in person was, with an ass that big major league hitters are going to be bunting every at bat. He'll be worn out by the 3rd inning.

He's got some junk in the trunk.

Luckily major league hitters no longer know how to bunt.

That's just Cubs players, not all major leaguers. We also don't field, throw, catch, run, or hit well. And that's just the position players

Top 5 Managers in Cubs History

1) Frank Chance
1907. 1908. "The Peerless Leader."

2) Charlie Grimm
Won three pennants, including the miraculous 1935 team that won 21 in a row in September

3) Joe McCarthy
Greatest manager in the history of baseball but only No. 3 on the Cubs list. No matter where he managed, his teams scored a bazillion runs.

4) Frank Selee
Managed from 1903-1905. It's believed he oversaw the development of Tinker to Evers to Chance as well as Three-Finger Brown. Had to quit due to health reasons, or he might have won the championships that Chance won.

5) Lou Piniella
97 wins in 2008 was the most for a Cubs team since 1945. He and Chance are the only managers in Cubs history to take the team to the postseason in consecutive years. In his way, he got the Cubs to grasp the concept of OBP.

Honorable mention: Durocher (why didn't they seriously contend after 1969?), Frey (wasn't here very long), Dusty (clogging the list), Zimmer (he won a division, but I've never heard anybody explain what he had to do with it), Hartnett (was a player-manager when he hit the Homer in the Gloamin'), Riggleman (don't laugh -- look at Treblehorn did in 1994 and then look at what Riggs did with the same players in 1995 and tell me that he didn't know what he was doing).

I'm just going to nitpick on the comment about Durocher -- and it all depends on how you define "seriously contend". I thought the 1970 Cubs were a "serious contender" -- spent from Sept. 1-20 from 0.5 - 2.0 game out of first and ended up in 2nd place only 5 games out. Disappointing, sure, but were in the race all the way until the last week of the season.

That's all -- no big deal.

Cubs 2010 2nd round draft pick RF Reggie Golden will miss the rest of the AZL season with a sore hand. He is expected to be able to participate in the AZ Instructional League next month.

Also, Cubs 2009 7th round draft pick OF Blair Springfield (hitting just 169/296/253 in 25 games with AZL Cubs after going 145/202/145 in 27 games at EXST April-May) will miss the rest of the AZL season with a strained oblique. He will not be able to participate in the AZ Instructional League. After he is cleared for physical activity, he will be going on a strength & conditioning program during the off-season. (Springfield has HR power in BP, but he has to start showing it in games)

Several of the Cubs top pitching prospects received promotions Sunday:

24-year old RHP Chris Carpenter (8-6 - 3.16 ERA - 1.39 WHIP - 119.2 IP - 118 H - 5 HR - 48/100 BB/K at Tennessee) from Tennessee to Iowa
21-year old RHP Trey McNutt (10-0 - 1.97 ERA - 1.04 WHIP - 100.2 IP - 72 H - 3 HR - 33/119 BB/K combined at Peoria & Daytona) from Daytona to Tennessee
20-year old RHP Nick Struck (8-8 - 3.22 ERA - 1.16 WHIP - 114.2 IP - 93 H - 7 HR - 40/84 BB/K at Peoria) from Peoria to Daytona
20-year old LHP Austin Kirk (4-5 - 3.31 ERA - 1.22 WHIP - 51.2 IP - 51 H - 6 HR - 12/48 BB/K at Boise) from Boise to Peoria

McNutt is 2nd among Cubs minor league pitchers in strikeouts with 119, trailing only 21-year old RHP Chris Archer (15-2 - 2.24 ERA - 1.16 WHIP - 128.1 IP - 90 H - 6 HR - 59/134 BB/K combined at Daytona and Tennesee).

One of the pitchers the Cubs acquired from CLE for Mark DeRosa last year, Archer is a lock to get added to the Cubs 40-man roster post-2010, and will battle McNutt for the Cubs 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award. (OF Brett Jackson will likely get the Cubs 2010 Minor League Player of the Year Award).

Also, RHP Esmailin Caridad (on the Cubs 15-day DL with a sprained elbow ligament since May) has had his minor league rehab moved from from AZL Cubs (Mesa) to Tennessee, as he is apparently on target to rejoin the Cubs on September 1st.

And RHP Tarlandus Mitchell (groin strain) has (apparently) completed his rehab at AZL Cubs and should be able to rejoin Boise whenever the Cubs can make room for him there. He had a strong outing versus the AZL Giants Saturday night in Scottsdale.

http://deadspin.com/5615096/mlb-confidential-...

not all of them, but apparently this is never before seen type stuff. You'll be shocked to learn that multi-millionaires operate their business in a way to make them money. SHOCKING!!!

here's a better explanation of the documents if you're interested

http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com...

agents and MLBPA are gonna love this.

I just glanced at the Pirates cash flow stamenent - not sure there's anything to get worked up about.

It'll be a shame if she gets railroaded into Girls' Softball. Armed with that knuckleball there's no reason she can't play high school baseball.

Chelsea's pretty much the anti-Caster Semenya.

Caption: One of these three is the world-class South African "female" track star
http://img.metro.co.uk/i/pix/2010/07/14/artic...

The CNN dude was the worst interviewer I've ever seen, and I watch Jay Leno. I actually felt embarassed for her.

tonites lineup

dewitt 4

castro 6

byrd 8

aram 5

nada 3

colvin 9

sori 7

soto 2
coleman 1

so sori

the best #8 hitter in the game returns to his rightful place to set up the pitcher to knock him in.

are we sure lou's left yet?

But notice, Soriano is no longer a fixture at #6. tonite's leadoff man has an OBP close to the number of days in a year and Colvin is not playing first base as earlier threatened.

There may be a little bit of "respect there" but I suspect that Soto is batting 8th because he hasn't faced live ML pitching in two weeks.

respect is one of the last words i'd use to keep batting soto so far down in the lineup when he's been the only consistent hitter on the team...well, he had a sketchy may.

a .900+ OPS don't get you the respect it used to.

I mean respect to the outgoing manager.

shame lou had to go out like he did, but that soto handling was weird for too long...not gonna get into that 3/4 slot hitting.

denier first base coach , dejesus to third

world series here we come!!!

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