Monday, May 21, 2012

State of the Disabled List

Jason Martinez, of the remarkably comprehensive website, tweeted a keen observation on Sunday:

For brevity's sake, let's cut the small talk and take a closer look at how the DL is affecting each team. With the help of Jason's website and Cot's Contracts, we present our findings of teams most affected to least affected, by dollars.

Boston Red Sox
Players: 12
Dollars: Over $80 million
Jason Repko's salary isn't posted anywhere, but he made $600,000 last season, and we're putting him down for the same amount this year. Still, the Red Sox have over $38 million on DL arms, and over $42 million on bats. When Kevin Youkilis returns, presumably, in a few days, we can knock $12,250,000 off this number.

Philadelphia Phillies
Players: 9
Dollars: $40,127,500
The right side of their infield, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, are the primary culprits here - making over $35 million combined. The largest question hanging over the Phillies, like a dark cloud, is how good these players will be after returning. At their advanced age and mileage, they could very well end up being liabilities after they return.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Players: 8
Dollars: $32,727,500
Matt Kemp's $10,250,000 salary makes up almost a third of the Dodgers' DL expenses, but the team also has a few relatively high-priced veterans on the list, like Juan Rivera, Mark Ellis, Juan Uribe, Matt Guerrier, and Jerry Hairston, Jr., which is what gets them into the top 3 of this dubious ranking. How does Juan Uribe make $8 million, with another $7 million guaranteed for next season, plus $1 million to be payed in 2014? His agent, Martin Arburua, really earned his commission on that one.

San Diego Padres
Carlos Quentin will be back soon
Players: 13
Dollars: Over $29 million
The Padres will fall about five places in the standings very shortly, when Carlos Quentin and his $7 million salary are activated from the Disabled List this week (maybe today). In addition, without confirmation, we are allocating the Major League minimum ($480,000) to James Darnell and Joe Wieland. As with any of the players we are noting for estimated salaries, if anyone knows the actual numbers, a note in the comment section would be appreciated.

Baltimore Orioles
Players: 8
Dollars: $28,469,333
The surprising success of the 2012 Baltimore Orioles is even more impressive when noticing how much money they have on the DL. Brian Roberts and Mark Reynolds make up more than half of this expense, but the name that shouts out as an epic failure by their front office is Tsuyoshi Wada. There were whispers out of Japan that he might be hurt, yet the Orioles signed him to a contract that pays him more than $8 million over the next two years.

New York Yankees
Players: 10
Dollars: $27,295,475
It's no surprise that the Bronx Bombers would be near the top of this list. It would usually take just one starting infielder making the DL to significantly climb up these rankings. That being said, Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, and A-Rod are on the active roster. Mariano Rivera's $15 million salary will ensure they are in the top half of this list the rest of the season.

New York Mets
Players: 6
Dollars: $26,040,129
Back to back New York teams, as Mel Allen would say, how about that! Apologies with my digression, but Jason Bay and Mike Pelfrey account for over 91% of this total. Bay should be off the DL in a couple of weeks. Big Pelf, on the other hand, will be on the list the rest of the season.

Washington Nationals
Jayson Werth's beard is sad
Players: 10
Dollars: Over $25 million
Again, we have a couple of estimates and allocated the minimum to Sandy Leon and Cole Kimball.

The Nationals' highest paid player, Jayson Werth, makes over $13.5 million, and Chien-Ming Wang and Michael Morse combine for another $7.5 million.

Oakland Athletics
Players: 8
Dollars: $25,011,566
It's really bad luck to see a low budget club like the A's so far up on this list. The dollars primarily come from three-fifths of their projectable starting rotation (Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, and Dallas Braden), plus two-thirds of their starting outfield (Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes). With their payroll at $52,973,000, the A's have over 47% of that payroll on the DL.

St. Louis Cardinals
Players: 6
Dollars: $24,849,000
The defending World Champions were in much better shape a couple of days ago, before Lance Berkman and his $12 million salary were disabled. Chris Carpenter has also been $8.5 million of dead weight all season. Yet, the Cardinals keep chugging alond. According to Coolstandings, they have a 77% chance of making the playoffs again this season.

San Francisco Giants
Players: 6
Dollars: $19,913,000
The 2010 World Champions are an older team. Brian Wilson will have his $8.5 million commitment on the DL the rest of the season, while other veterans: Freddy Sanchez, Pablo Sandoval, and Ryan Theriot currently make up the bulk of the remaining debt.

Cincinnati Reds
Players: 4
Dollars: $17,984,167
With only four players, the Reds find themselves in the top 12 because their lowest priced disabled player is Bill Bray at over $1.4 million. Scott Rolen makes over $8 million, and one of the worst investments of the offseason, Ryan Madson, is making $6 million to rehab before another run at free agency next winter.

Kansas City Royals
Players: 9
Dollars: $16,789,025
The Royals have had a terrible run of luck with injuries this year, but when considering the big picture, it can still be okay. No-one wants to see budding young stars, like Salvador Perez and Danny Duffy, miss most of the season, but when it comes to their window to compete in the postseason, it's better to be unlucky in 2012-13 than 2013-14.

Detroit Tigers
The Tigers need to stay
close until V-Mart is back
Players: 4
Dollars: $14,465,000
The Tigers haven't been unlucky with injuries since the offseason. Victor Martinez, and his $13 million make up most of this chunk, and he should return by September. Where the Tigers have been unlucky is in the Win-Loss record. They'll need to improve in all aspects of the game, to make the kind of postseason noise we expected from them back in March.

Tampa Bay Rays
Players: 9
Dollars: Over $13.4 million
We don't know what Brandon Guyer is making this season, but the Major League minimum gets us to $13,451,000. Evan Longoria, Kyle Farnsworth, and Jeff Niemann are the only disabled players making more than half a million bucks this year. Plus, Desmond Jennings might be the most valuable, lowly paid, disabled players in baseball. The Rays have excellent starting pitching, depth, and defensive flexibility. Teams built that way can maintain success through injury troubles. So, don't be surprised to see them playing again this post season.

Chicago Cubs
Players: 5
Dollars: $12,745,500
The Cubs injury problems amount to almost $5 million to catchers and $8 million in the bullpen. It doesn't really matter, though, as their highest paid injured "stars", Geovany Soto and Carlos Marmol, were atrocious when healthy.

Colorado Rockies
Players: 4
Dollars: $11,942,000
One of the most disappointing teams, at least for their own fans, this season must be the Rockies. In hindsight, however, it seems clear that they never really had the starting pitching to contend. Who knows? The NL West has been a wild ride the last few years, and the Rockies have always had an unexpected run where they win 20-something games in a month. The likelihood of that happening this year, however, is tenuous at best. Remarkably, they've been relatively healthy this year. $10.5 million of the almost $12 million on the DL belongs to Jorge De La Rosa.

Minnesota Twins
Ron Gardenhire suiting up isn't
going to help the lowly Twins
Players: 3
Dollars: $11,730,000
Kyle Waldrop makes the Major League minimum. Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn make up the rest of the $11+ million on the Twins' DL. Unfortunately, the Twins don't have much talent on their active roster and are clearly the worst team in the American League.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Players: 4
Dollars: $11,354,000
While the Dodgers have gotten off to a torrid start, sporting the best record in baseball, the Diamondbacks still have time to right the ship and compete for a playoffs, potentially one of two Wild Card births. Chris B. Young was on the DL for a few weeks, until this past weekend. The four players they currently have on the DL are missed, though, as they rely on contributions from Takashi Saito, Geoff Blum, and mostly Stephen Drew and Daniel Hudson. When Drew and Hudson return, we could expect the D'backs to make a Rockies-esque run, propelling themselves into contention.

Seattle Mariners
Will King Felix ever taste
champagne with Seattle?
Players: 3
Dollars: $10,662,500
Franklin Gutierrez, Miguel Olivo, and George Sherrill are the three guys the Mariners are missing. How much of a difference will they make when they return? Not much. This still isn't their year.

Cleveland Indians
Players: 4
Dollars: $7,988,000
Similar to the situation in Seattle, how much can fans really expect to get from Grady Sizemore, Carlos Carrasco, Rafael Perez, or Josh Tomlin in 2012? Again, it's not much. They may be good players again in their careers, but it may take more time for them to fully bounce back to reach their top potential. All in all, though, the Indians are having a surprisingly good year. Let's not count them out. They're in first-place, after all. Mostly, they've been lucky, as their injuries haven't happened to key contributors.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Players: 4
Dollars: $7,594,833
The Angels' problems haven't been injuries this season. Sure, we can blame Albert Pujols for everything, but truly, he's just one of no fewer than six starters who are sporting sub .300 On Base Percentages. Nobody's going to be over .500 with a lineup like that.

Milwaukee Brewers
Players: 3
Dollars: $4,981,000
The Brewers have been luck and unlucky with injuries. While this is a small number of players and total cost on their DL right now, all three players (Mat Gamel, Alex Gonzalez, and Chris Narveson) are out for the season.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Players: 4
Dollars: Over $4.5 million
How much does Daniel McCutchen make? He's hurt, and we put him down for $480,000. How much is Jeff Karstens worth? He's hurt and making $3.1 million. The Pirates have been healthy this year, but they're just not good.

Toronto Blue Jays
Brett Lawrie can hit, but
he needs to grow up
Players: 4
Dollars: $3,055,000
The Blue Jays are having a good season, so far. It could be them and the Rays coming out of the AL East this year, which would be a great story everywhere except New York and Boston. To increase their chances of making the playoffs, they'll need to stay relatively healthy, hope that Brett Lawrie doesn't get arrested, and get an effective Sergio Santos back after his shoulder's inflammation subsides.

Miami Marlins
Players: 2
Dollars: $2,680,000
The Marlins should continue their solid run of baseball in the coming weeks, as the only players they're missing are Emilio Bonifacio and Jose Ceda. Juan Carlos Oviedo is still in new-name purgatory, but his arm should be about as fresh as his passport once he gets cleared to play again. The NL East should be a thrilling race, as the Braves have been the class of the division, but the Nationals and Marlins will make some noise in September... and that's without considering the Phillies.

Houston Astros
Players: 2
Dollars: $972,000
Astros fans must feel like they're already playing with house money. While it's still early, coolstandings gives them a 20% chance to make the postseason. Remember, most predictions had them losing over 100 games this season. The talented front office Jeff Luhnow has put together deserves all the praise they can get.

Atlanta Braves
Chipper Jones is primed
for one more fine summer
Players: 2
Dollars: $960,000
If you do the math, it makes sense, they have two players making the Major League minimum on the DL. One of the keys to the Braves in the start of this season has been the health of Chipper Jones. Overall, the team is 26-16,and they are 19-5 with Chipper in the lineup. They're a good team, with depth in all facets of the game.

Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers
Players: 0
Dollars: $0
The two healthiest teams, right now, are on the south side of Chicago and in Arlington. While their health is comparable, their talent is not. The White Sox are at .500 and have less than a 50% chance of making the playoffs. On the other hand, the Rangers are 26-16, with the best run differential in baseball, and a 96% chance to return to the postseason for the third year in a row.

As always, your comments and tweets are appreciated. Please start/join the conversation.

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