The Attrition War, Yankees

DMZ · August 28, 2005 at 2:03 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 Yankees. Next up: the summary, methodology, and all kinds of good stuff.

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 Yankees had 26 pitchers who appeared at least once on a Baseball America Top Ten prospect list from 1995-2004.

Of those 26, pitchers who injured their elbow and required surgery: 4 (Claussen, DePaula, Jerzembeck, de los Santos)
Of those 26, pitchers who injured their shoulders and required surgery: 2 (Borrell, Keisler)
(generally, I’m looking for major surgeries that require ~1y off)

Unknowns and weird disappearances: Todd Noel
Suspicious: 3 (Ryan Bradley, Mike Jerzembeck)
Barely missed counting: Wang

Contributions welcome!
Readers are, as always, encouraged to to add/correct information here in the comments or by email. Resolving unknowns and citations are particularly welcome.

Detailed data

Jason Arnold, 9/2002
Traded to the Athletics in July 2002 as part of the Jeff Weaver deal.

Danny Borrell, 7/2003
Shoulder ligament replacement surgery in June 2003.

Ryan Bradley, 9/1998, 2/1999
Missed 2000 for unknown reasons. Was still in the Yankee system in 2002, then disappeared. This is not the ice skater.

Brandon Claussen, 3/2002, 3/2003
Traded to the Reds in July 2003 as part of the Aaron Boone deal. Had TJ surgery afterwards.

Jason Coble, 6/1997
Quit baseball after two years.

Chris Cumberland, 8/1996
Went to the Mets in 1997.

Jorge DePaula (ne Julio DePaula), 8/2003, 8/2004
Elbow ligament replacement surgery. Pitching in the Twins organization ow.

Matt Drews, 6/1995, 3/1996
Sent to Detroit in 1996.

Alex Graman, 5/2001
Released August 2005.

Sean Henn, 6/2002, 10/2003
Elbow replacement surgery in 2001, before ranking. Pitching in the minors.

Adrian Hernandez, 4/2001
Granted free agency in October 2003.

Mike Jerzembeck, 8/1998
Suspicious. Elbow surgery in April 1999 (date?) supposedly to remove bone chips. Missed 1999, 2000, 2001 seasons. I suspect he had TJ surgery.

Randy Keisler, 9/2000, 6/2001
Shoulder surgery forced him to miss 2002. Released in February 2003, signed with the Padres.

Katsuhiro Maeda, 4/1997
Last sighted back in the Japanese league farm system in 2001.

Rafael Medina, 3/1997
Traded to the Padres in April 1997 as part of the Hideki Irabu deal.

Eric Milton, 8/1997, 1/1998
Traded to the Twins in February 1998 as part of the Chuck Knoblauch deal.

Todd Noel, 8/2000, 9/2001
Didn’t make it. Exact details scarce.

Andy Pettitte, 3/1995
Signed with the Astros as a free agent. Then blew out his elbow.

Ramon Ramirez, 5/2004
Traded to the Rockies in July 2005 as part of the Shawn Cacon deal. Heh.

Ray Ricken, 6/1996
Traded to the Padres in August 1998.

Mariano Rivera, 9/1995
Pitching in the majors. Has had some shoulder issues.

Luis de los Santos, 4/1998
Unknown. Missed almost all 2000, 2001. Released in July 2001.

Brien Taylor, 5/1995
Destroyed his shoulder in brawl. This seems like an inadequate explanation, even now.

Chien-Ming Wang, 5/2003
Missed 2001 with a shoulder injury. I guess counting this would mean I have to go back and count J.D. Durbin. Hmm.

Jake Westbrook, 10/2000
Traded to the Indians in July 2000 as part of the David Justice deal.

Ed Yarnall, 6/2000
Traded to the Reds in July 2000 as part of the Denny Neagle deal.


8 Responses to “The Attrition War, Yankees”

  1. pensive on August 28th, 2005 4:10 pm

    DMZ–Thankyou for all the time and effort you put into this educational series.

    Wow all the personal time you sacrificed to enlighted us is appreciated. Now enjoy your vacation down under.

  2. Phil on August 28th, 2005 4:12 pm

    Mariano Rivera has a weird way of showing those “shoulder issues.” 35 almost 36 years old. Only 1 season under 60IP. Since ’96, no season with an ERA above 3. I want those kind of shoulder issues on the M’s.

  3. John D. on August 28th, 2005 5:09 pm


    Am I correct in assuming that you’re going to tabulate these surgeries, showing where the Mariners stand on pitching arm injuries in relation to other teams?
    Congratulations on excellent deisions on who to look at and what to look for.

  4. Anthony on August 28th, 2005 5:32 pm

    A few notes…

    Brandon Claussen had Tommy John surgery a few years ago. Will Carroll has noted that Claussen was the first pitcher to rehab under the new fast-track protocol of Dr. James Andrews’s. (

    (I’m not going to attempt HTML. Sorry. I suck.)

    Mariano Rivera had TJS in August 1992. I suppose that doesn’t count, though.

    Jorge DePaula had TJS in 2004. (

    Sean Henn was a “draft-and-follow” who followed up being drafted by having–you guessed it–Tommy John surgery. (

    Randy Keisler missed all of 2002 with shoulder surgery. (

    de los Santos had elbow surgery…and knee surgery (torn ACL), according to this article:

  5. JMB on August 28th, 2005 6:44 pm

    My understanding is that Derek has a monster post summarizing the Attrition War in the works. Please be patient, as this is a large project.


  6. Raf on August 29th, 2005 9:42 am

    Jorge DePaula is still in the Yanks’ sytem @ AAA Columbus.

  7. Anthony on September 5th, 2005 8:28 pm

    Brandon Claussen, 3/2002, 3/2003
    Traded to the Reds in July 2003 as part of the Aaron Boone deal. Had TJ surgery afterwards.

    Claussen had TJ surgery in June 2002, came back less than a year later, made a start for the Yankees in June 2003, then was traded a month later. This definitely belongs on the Yankees’ ledger..

  8. DMZ on September 5th, 2005 8:31 pm

    D’oh. Fixed.