At FanGraphs on Thursday, Jeff Zimmermann released his annual, super-helpful disabled list review.
The data isn't perfect, mostly because it relies on MLB.com's public transaction listings, which are way sloppier than they should be. I know that first-hand from writing transaction logs every year, and realizing I've covered somebody coming off the disabled list when they never "officially" went on it. It's tricky enough filling in the blanks for one team, so it has to be frustrating for somebody trying to account for all 30.
MLB.com's gaps don't really change the DL overview for the White Sox, as the two major missing pieces of information balance each other out.
While we're talking about FanGraphs posts, this is the first year we have Dan Szymborski's ZIPS projections retroactively available in terms of fWAR. There doesn't seem to be a way to find the WAR estimates from previous seasons, so I can't figure out a consistent way to apply measurements backwards. So instead, I'll try to set a template this season that we can use to evaluate injuries in future seasons.
In this case, looking through the 13 White Sox DL stints in 2013, I wanted to single out three injuries for particular recognition in a quantifiable fashion. If you can think of ways to improve my quick-and-dirty math, or other injury types you think could be applied in future seasons, let's talk it out.
Costliest Injury (preseason): Gavin Floyd (2.7 WAR)
ZIPS projected Floyd to deliver 3.2 WAR in 2013. He got the ".2" part right, but an elbow injury that eventually required Tommy John surgery prevented him from getting to the other three wins.
So why do I figure it's 2.7 WAR? Well, he was projected to deliver 3.2 WAR over 182 days, but he spent 155 days on the DL. Take 155 days of a 3.2 WAR season, and it's 2.7 WAR. He didn't pitch enough in 2013 to really know how far off he was from his original projection, unlike:
Costliest Injury (in-season): Jesse Crain (1.7 WAR)
Crain had an unbelievable three months in 2013, turning in the league's most valuable relief performance through June. ZIPS projected him for 1.0 WAR, and he had already blown it out of the water with 1.9 WAR before July arrived. Unlike Floyd, he had rendered his original projection moot.
Alas, a sore shoulder prevented him pitching the rest of the season. It's unlikely that he could've kept up his performance, but he set a 3.6-WAR pace before crashing on the DL the rest of the season. Even if we can't really assume he would've come close to duplicating his first half, the injury killed most of his potentially considerable trade value. By one measurement or another, that shoulder injury cost the Sox plenty.
(One way MLB.com's data is flawed -- it has Crain going on the DL with the Sox, but no official notice of his DL transfer to the Rays. So all 85 of his DL days are assigned to the Sox, when it should be 29 for Chicago, and 56 for Tampa Bay.)
The Brian Bruney Award: Brian Omogrosso
The Brian Bruney Award goes to the player who used up a disproportional amount of days on the DL list relative to how many days he "should" have received a big-league salary.
I figure this should be named in Bruney's honor for his 2012 season. The Sox called him up on June 22 during their spate of bullpen injuries. He pitched in one game, picking up the win on June 24 for a scoreless inning. On June 29, he went on the disabled list with left hip inflammation, and never came back. He was replaced by Brian Omogrosso, who lasted on the roster until July 21. So, in review:
- Days active: Six
- Days on the DL: 100
Probable days active: 29
Technically speaking, Leyson Septimo wins this one infinity times over. He spent 72 days on the DL and zero days on the 25-man roster. Had he not hurt his shoulder early in spring training, it's highly probably that he would've been outrighted before Opening Day. So that's 72 days for a guy who spent zero days in the mix.
But if we do it that way, then Fringe Guy Spring Injury will win basically every time, and that's anticlimactic. The Bruney Award is more to single out an injury that could've happened in the minors, but instead allowed a guy to get a major-league salary for longer than planned.
That being the case, the Bruney Award stays with a Brian. This time, it's Omogrosso.
He was on the 25-man roster from May 1 to June 5. The Sox then recalled him on June 21. He made just one appearance on June 28, when he took one for the team by allowing nine runs over 2⅓ innings in the 19-10 loss to the Indians. He was demoted to Charlotte the next day, but he couldn't pitch for the Knights due to an arm problem. The Sox had to put him on the major-league disabled list, and he spent the rest of the season on it after undergoing elbow surgery on Aug. 6.
The Sox only meant to use up Omogrosso for the day. Oops.
Days active: 43
Days on the DL: 93
- Probable days active: 43
(By the way, MLB.com doesn't list Omogrosso going on the DL on July 12, retroactive to June 29 -- he only shows up on the list when going on the 60-day DL on Sept. 3. MLB.com only accounts for 26 injury days out of 93. If the official site doesn't pay much attention to Omogrosso's whereabouts, that gives you an idea of how much Zimmermann has on his plate as an independent auditor.)
Honorable mentions: Angel Sanchez, who spent 41 days on the DL after playing one game in April, and Dewayne Wise, who used up 65 days on the DL through three rehab stints, eclipsing his 59 days on the active roster.