The Attrition War, Indians

DMZ · June 20, 2005 at 9:31 pm · Filed Under General baseball 

Part of a continuing series, follow-ups to the initial post detailing the Mariners history over the same period.

Do the Mariners, in comparison to other teams, suffer a higher rate of injury to their pitching prospects than other teams? Here, I look at the Indians.

Please note that I am trying to refrain from drawing any conclusions or making any comparisons, guessing at causes or relationships, or doing anything but presenting straight data. When the series is finished, I’ll have a summary post where I talk about those things.

In every organization so far there have been are several cases where those stats seem to ignore something important. I’m going at attempt to address those in the summary post, as well as methodology and thoughts on future research directions.

The Indians had 36 pitchers who appeared at least once on a Baseball America Top Ten prospect list from 1995-2004.

Of those 36, pitchers who injured their elbow and required surgery: 5 (Brown, Carter, DePaula, Tallet, Traber)
Of those 36, pitchers who injured their shoulders and required surgery: 2 (Kirkreit, Wright)
Unknown injuries: 1 (Brammer)
(generally, I’m looking for major surgeries that require ~1y off)

Embree misses counting because he had surgery ahead of ranking.

Readers are, as always, encouraged to to add/correct information here in the comments or by email. Citations are particularly welcome.

Detailed data

Mike Bacsik, 10/1999
Traded to the Mets in December 2001 as part of the Matt Lawton deal.

Danys Baez, 2/2000, 2/2001
Became a free agent in December 2003.

J.D. Brammer, 9/1999
Unknown injuries appear to have derailed his career.

Jamie Brown, 10/1998, 6/1999, 7/2000
Elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2001. Traded to the Red Sox in 2003 for Angel Santos.

Fernando Cabrera, 5/2004
Pitching in the minors.

Fausto Carmona, 3/2004
Pitching in the minors.

John Carter, 10/1995
Commenter Roger Tang: “injured elbow in early 1994, surgery in 1994, made only four starts in 1995, toiled in the minors after that, retired by 1999.”

Bartolo Colon, 1/1996, 2/1997
Traded to the Expos in June 2002 with Tim Drew for a bunch of dudes.

Jason Davis, 10/2003
Pitching in the minors.

Zach Day, 6/2001
Traded to the Expos in July 2001 for Milton Bradley

Dan Denham, 4/2002
Pitching in the minors.

Sean DePaula, 6/2000, 5/2001
Elbow surgery in April 2001. Last sighted in Louisville in 2003.

Jake Dittler, 4/2004
Pitching in the minors.

Ryan Drese, 3/2002
Traded to the Rangers in December 2002 as part of the Einar Diaz deal.

Tim Drew, 3/1998, 7/1999, 4/2000, 8/2001
Traded to the Expos in July 2002 in the Bartolo Colon deal.

Alan Embree, 9/1995, 3/1996
Elbow ligament replacement surgery in June 1993, before ranking. Traded to the Braves in March 1997 as part of the Marquis Grissom/David Justice deal.

Alberto Garza, 8/1998
Unknown. Last seen in 2003.

Danny Graves, 5/1996, 7/1997
Traded to the Reds in July 1997 as part of the Jeff Branson/John Smiley

Jeremy Guthrie, 4/2003, 2/2004
Pitching in the minors.

Alex Herrera, 10/2002
Turned out to be four years older than cliamed in Februrary 2003. Claimed off waivers by the Rockies in October 2003.

Daron Kirkreit, 6/1995
Rotator cuff surgery in 1995.

Cliff Lee, 3/2003
Pitching in the majors.

J.D. Martin, 5/2002
Elbow strain in 2003. Pitching in the minors.

Willie Martinez, 3/1997, 4/1998, 4/1999, 10/2000
Claimed off waivers by the Twins in October 2000.

Adam Miller, 9/2004
Pitching in the minors.

Robert Pugmire, 8/2000
Traded to the Reds before the 2001 season as part of the Eddie Taubensee deal.

Jason Rakers, 9/1998
Claimed off waivers by the Royals in November 1999.

David Riske, 7/2002
Pitching in the majors.

Ricardo Rodriguez, 6/2003
Traded to the Rangers for Ryan Ludwick in 2003.

C.C. Sabathia, 2/1999, 1/2000, 1/2001
Pitching in the majors.

Paul Shuey, 2/1995, 7/1996
Traded to the Dodgers in July 2002.

Brian Tallet, 8/2002, 9/2003
Ligament replacement surgery on his elbow in September 2003.

Julian Tavarez, 3/1995
Traded to the Giants as part of the Matt Williams deal.

Brian Traber, 9/2002, 8/2003
Ligament replacement surgery on his elbow in September 2003. Claimed off waivers by the Red Sox in November 2004. (Returned to the Indians as a minor league free agent)

Jake Westbrook, 7/2001
Pitching in the majors.

Jaret Wright, 1/1995, 2/1996, 1/1997
Labrum repair surgery in August 2000. Missed almost all of 2000, 2001, 2002 seasons with shoulder injuries (soreness, inflammation, tendinitis, swelling, discomfort, sprain), none of which cost him a full year. Signed as a free agent with San Diego in December 2003 season.


10 Responses to “The Attrition War, Indians”

  1. Colm on June 20th, 2005 10:26 pm

    That’d be the same Jaret Wright who played well for the Braves last year, and is now “earning” 5.7 million a year “pitching” for the Yankees (he’s been on the DL for 4 weeks, which has denied him the chance to push his ERA into double figures).

    5/36 seems like a low attrition rate, but neglects the 3 “unknowns”.

  2. DMZ on June 20th, 2005 10:47 pm

    Almost all the teams have a couple unknowns. One of my great hopes has been that in posting these, people with knowledge of the unknowns will comment and fill in the gaps.

  3. G-Man on June 20th, 2005 11:11 pm

    Derek, you might put a running summary of all of the teams in one place, updating it with each team you add. I’m referring to the figureds which in this instance are 36,2 -31,2 – 1.

    OTOH, I already see that the Mariners are WAY over the mean and median injury numbers. I’ve probably missed 1 or 2 of them, but I don’t recall another team even being close.

  4. DMZ on June 20th, 2005 11:40 pm

    There’s a running list (see link at upper-right), but I’m holding off on any kind of summary data.

  5. Saint Jimmy on June 21st, 2005 2:29 am

    DePaula had elbow surgery in April 2001 after battling a year of tendonitis and missed the rest of the year – I’d figure this would be close enough to your ~1 year requirement.

  6. roger tang on June 21st, 2005 7:47 am

    John Carter, injured elbow in early 1994, surgery in 1994, made only four starts in 1995, toiled in the minors after that, retired by 1999. (various Cleveland Plains Dealer articles, 7/11/97 and 1/11/99

  7. Colm on June 21st, 2005 9:32 am

    Re, 2. Without going into deep analysis, several other teams have similarly bleak attrition rates so far: Brewers, Braves, Dodgers.

    Still, the fact that the Mariners appear to have company at the bottom of the arm shredding list should not be cause for complacency.

  8. roger tang on June 21st, 2005 9:53 am

    re 7

    No, it isn’t a cause for complacency…but it might make it easier to track down an underlying cause, if we can sniff out any commonalities between organizations.

  9. david hollister on September 9th, 2005 8:20 am

    Embree had Tommy John while in the organization. This had something to do with them moving him from starting to BP.
    Jamie Brown I believe, was out for a year after shoulder surgery.

  10. DMZ on September 9th, 2005 9:43 am

    Both have been updated.