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Beyond the numbers: Some injuries add up more than others

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 19, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The big number was a powerful way for Adam to kick off this morning’s Pinch Hitter post. To think of the Yankees losing 1,753 days because of injuries is stunning, and it’s especially potent in the context of the rest of baseball. Here’s the spreadsheet that shows how that 1,753 total came to be. It shows which players missed how many days, and below is the breakdown of each individual Yankees player (as you can probably tell, missing the full season meant missing 183 days).

Michael Pineda — 183 days
Pedro Feliciano — 183 days
Cesar Cabral — 183 days
Brad Meyers — 183 days
Austin Romine — 183 days (technically on rehab when he joined Scranton/Wilkes-Barre)
David Aardsma — 175 days
Brett Gardner – 160 days
Mariano Rivera – 152 days
Joba Chamberlain — 119 days
Andy Pettitte — 83 days
Alex Rodriguez — 40 days
CC Sabathia — 37 days (two different stints)
Dave Robertson — 33 days
Ivan Nova — 17 days
Dellin Betances — 14 days (called up and put on the 60-day to open a 40-man spot)
Eric Chavez — 8 days
TOTAL – 1,753 days

What do those details tell us?

That the big, lasting injuries make the big picture look bad, but it’s often the smaller injuries that do the real damage. Consider the fact that the guy on the right isn’t even mentioned in the list above.

Clearly Pineda, Rivera and Gardner were significant losses — especially in the case of Pineda, those lasting injuries can have an impact well beyond days spent on the disabled list — but 724 days of DL time went to Feliciano, Cabral, Meyers and Aardsma; two Rule 5 picks, a guy who was signed with the intention of going on the DL, and a lost cause who’d been hurt for more than a year. Another 183 days was lost to Romine, who might not have played a big league role anyway and technically came back before a full 183 days had passed.

Added together, Romine, Feliciano, Cabral, Meyers and Aardsma account for more than half of the Yankees total DL time last season. But if you’re looking for season-defining injuries, those five hardly fit in the picture.

The devastating injuries belonged to Pineda and Rivera, and Gardner’s was the one that just wouldn’t go away. Before the middle of May, the Yankees had lost a starting pitcher, their iconic closer and their regular left fielder for more or less the entire season. They’d lost them because of an underlying shoulder issue that went undetected, because of a fluke accident during batting practice, and because of a seemingly innocent sliding catch that caused an elbow injury which simply refused to get better.

The stunning injuries were the fluke comebacker that broke Pettitte’s ankle, the misplaced changeup that broke Rodriguez’s hand, and the pair of injuries that temporarily shutdown Sabathia (an ace known for his durability as much as anything). That’s a total of 160 days on the DL, but the impact was beyond most of those players who missed the entire season.

The injuries that we’ve been talking about this winter aren’t even on the list. Derek Jeter’s ankle, Rodriguez’s left hip and Mark Teixeira’s nagging health problems never caused them to miss a single day on the regular-season disabled list, but those injuries were as significant as anything listed above and carry more lasting concerns than anything outside of Pineda’s shoulder. Also largely missing from the numbers is Sabathia’s elbow, which caused him to be shutdown briefly but which he ultimately pitched through before having offseason surgery.

Adam’s right, durability matters a great deal, and it could be a significant issue for this aging Yankees team. The optimist says players will come back and health won’t be as much of an issue. The pessimist says the likelyhood of injuries only goes up as a team ages. The details say that it’s not always the total days missed that make the biggest difference, it’s the nature of the injuries — the who, the what and the when — that really adds up.

Associated Press photo

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85 Responses to “Beyond the numbers: Some injuries add up more than others”

  1. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Absolutely Chad.

    Who gets injured, when, and for how long are extremely important to any team.

    Some of that is the luck factor.

    But there seems little doubt that an aging body is more prone to injury and recovers from them more slowly.

    Believe me when I say I can attest to that from personal experience.

    ;)

  2. Rich in NJ January 19th, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Teixeira concerns me as an injury risk as he ages. If so, added to his LH decline, that’s scary.

  3. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I agree with those who believe that the due to the overall age and lack of depth amongst starters on the O side of the ball that the Yankees are carying substantial injury risk for next season.

    On the P side they have excellent depth. Just like last season.

  4. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    And replacing an injured player (a-rod) with an injury-risk player (youkilis) doesn’t strike me as too wise.

    But hey. Maybe it just me.

    Or maybe two half-loaves will make one whole bread.

    :)

  5. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Or how about replacing a 31 yr. old OF’er with a 39 yr. old one ?

    ;)

  6. Bronx Jeers January 19th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I always thought Russell Martin was playing though something. He definitely was his 1st season but his contract had a games played bonus attached to it so he hid it. He was never the same after he got ran over by Carlos Pena.

  7. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Yankees need to work on finding more 6 Tool players.

    right Blake ?

    ;)

  8. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Jeers-

    I’ve never been the same since the day I was born.

    You ?

    :)

  9. jacksquat January 19th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    MTU January 19th, 2013 at 12:41 pm
    Or how about replacing a 31 yr. old OF’er with a 39 yr. old one ?

    The 39 year old has played less than 157 games only once (146) over the past 12 years.

  10. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    When Jeter went down I knew it was game over.

    :(

  11. randy l. January 19th, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    mtu-

    yes, my father( and mother) handed down some good longevity genes. they’re 91 and 83 now.

    russian pistols are from trying. you have to try.

    then it might take a few months to connect the brain neurons and nerves to fire the muscles.
    for almost everyone it’s a learned skill . i once showed the orioles triple a trainer how to do them in their clubhouse. he looked at me doing them and said : “i’d get fired if i even had a player try to do that”.

    but the result is actually the opposite. russian pistols give you strength, flexibility, and coordination. ten of them is pretty hard to do on each leg, but they only take a few minutes to do so they are an instant lower body and core workout.

  12. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    jack-

    That may be true and Ichiro is certainly exceptional but that does not change the fact that he is 39/40
    years old.

    I like that he is constantly stretching. I think that helps. They make fun of him for doing it but he may just be the one who gets the last laugh.

    ;)

  13. Tar January 19th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Off topic
    For the IPhone users out there. Is there a way to refresh this page without goign to the top of the page?
    I know how to fast scroll up, but its the scroll back down that’s annoying. Thanks

  14. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    randy-

    Talking about doing them and doing them are 2 different things.

    I give you a lot of credit for being able to do them.

    You might be right that more people should try them to gain the other benefits of which you spoke.

    There are many physical fitness sytems out there. They all should be looked at with an eye to determining which ones are the most effective to accomplish a given purpose.

    :)

  15. austinmac January 19th, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I don’t see depth on the team. No outfield depth except for Diaz, whatever he brings. Nunez and Nix are our IF depth. Catcher depth is as good as the first string guy, so happy days there. We have six potential starters. That isn’t great depth there either.

  16. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Here’s the solution Mac.

    Heathcott tears the cover off the ball at AA and manages to avoid “hard objects” for the 1st half.

    One of oF’ers goes down in the 2nd half and Heathcott is brought up only to save the day by doing his best lenny Dykstra imitation.

    See. I’ve got a plan. never count me out.

    ;)

  17. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Then Dave Adams shows he’s a stud.

    :)

  18. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    And Cervelli/Romine combine to throw out 30% of all baserunners while hitting a combing .275.

    Don’t buy it ?

  19. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    sp: combined. duh

  20. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Oh well.

    I tried.

    :)

  21. randy l. January 19th, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    “Talking about doing them and doing them are 2 different things.”

    mtu-

    that’s the the challenge we all have whenever we want to improve in anything.

    i gravitated to the pistols because i don’t like working out. i like playing sports , but i don’t like training. so when i saw Pavel Tsatsouline say that two exercises could get almost anyone in olympic level fitness in only a few minutes a day, i figured why not look into it.

    by the way,the other exercise is one arm/ one foot push ups. i have to admit i’ve slacked off on those :)

    but i shouldn’t
    i’ll get back to yo in a few months to see if i can get them back :)

  22. Rich in NJ January 19th, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    “I don’t see depth on the team.”

    No high-end depth, anyway…other than, as MTU suggests, a guy like Heathcott has to move fast.

    That’s a lot to ask though, so maybe the best hope is a rejuvenated Youkilis, with A-Rod coming back strong in late July.

  23. randy l. January 19th, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    “And Cervelli/Romine combine to throw out 30% of all baserunners while hitting a combing .275.”

    mtu-

    i don’t know. i think each could throw out 15 % of all runners and hit .138.

    add it together and there you are :)

  24. Rich in NJ January 19th, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    The more I read randy’s posts, the more I think he is auditioning for a job…………..

  25. tucker January 19th, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    R.I.P. Earl Weaver

  26. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Randy-

    I have little doubt you will return with an answer in the affirmative.

    Does hiking many miles over uneven terrain and then doing numerous beercan curls count towards fitness ?

    Because that’s my preferred method.

    I’ve found it effective. At least by my standards.

    Usually puts a smile on my face anyway.

    ;)

  27. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    randy-

    so I guess I didn’t convince you either .

    :(

  28. MTU January 19th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Well. You all have a great day.

    Time for some lunch and then a short hike with the Mops.

    Catch U later.

    :)

  29. Against All Odds January 19th, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Take care MTU

  30. randy l. January 19th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    “Does hiking many miles over uneven terrain and then doing numerous beercan curls count towards fitness ?”

    mtu-

    sounds good to me :)

  31. grouchonyy January 19th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Tar: not sure about iphone but I’m having the same problem with Safari on my Mac. The page refreshes not to the bottom, but the top of the comments. Never used to do that

  32. Tar January 19th, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks groucho. Safari is working fine for me.

    Occasionally I did notice the page take to long to refresh, if i click on the x it goes right to the bottom. I think it’s some of the ads taking to long to load. But of course I’m 50 something so take anything I say about computers with a huge grain of salt. :wink:

  33. blake January 19th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Tar,

    There should be a lohud Yankees blog banner that follows down the page on the iPhone…..click that and it’ll let let refresh without scrolling back to the top

  34. tomingeorgia January 19th, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    RIP, Earl Weaver. Bet they had a beer together after the gam.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....l-4FSRYagc

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