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How Much Is Herm Worth?

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On the right rail, larry linked to Jeff Zimmerman of BTB who, using Josh Hermsmeyer's free injury time database, generated a table of games missed by team including percent of salary lost.  It looks like this:

 

Rank Team Total Salary Salary Lost Total Days Number of Trips Percentage of Total Payroll
1 LAD $802,269,413 $214,186,872 6717 61 27%
2 WAS $395,077,500 $87,927,311 7395 73 22%
3 TEX $592,355,667 $130,295,946 8521 77 22%
4 NYM $912,960,802 $198,784,051 7922 72 22%
5 ARI $567,058,065 $112,040,169 6347 72 20%
6 ATL $752,293,394 $146,002,505 6574 67 19%
7 OAK $456,603,575 $88,576,685 5211 50 19%
8 SD $450,328,690 $84,326,605 5964 68 19%
9 KCR $415,440,333 $77,368,885 7206 81 19%
10 DET $650,323,576 $120,741,210 6621 53 19%
11 BAL $559,966,955 $100,803,387 7716 68 18%
12 CLE $481,570,082 $82,899,809 5499 61 17%
13 ANA $781,804,489 $131,803,169 1864 24 17%
14 TBA $279,920,832 $45,948,441 4898 62 16%
15 STL $701,113,759 $113,433,432 6370 57 16%
16 CIN $490,024,584 $71,801,485 6894 70 15%
17 MIL $448,053,000 $65,448,742 4862 53 15%
18 COL $476,445,377 $67,833,222 5768 71 14%
19 SF $673,267,093 $91,626,965 4202 53 14%
20 TOR $555,509,833 $75,545,147 5243 57 14%
21 CHC $780,401,763 $106,017,190 5444 58 14%
22 PHI $705,761,638 $86,937,200 4540 62 12%
23 HOU $655,044,680 $79,356,784 3888 44 12%
24 BOS $976,978,257 $117,482,570 5556 71 12%
25 NYY $1,464,447,266 $175,817,451 6107 57 12%
26 MIN $462,768,538 $50,398,150 4917 49 11%
27 PIT $350,135,323 $37,785,164 4759 49 11%
28 FLO $298,132,793 $25,716,545 6007 56 9%
29 SEA $747,503,317 $59,606,332 5245 52 8%
30 CHW $677,133,665 $38,169,033 2135 38 6%

 

So the Sox lost the lowest percent portion of their salary to injury than any other team from 2002-2009.  6% just also happens to be 2 standard deviations from the mean of 16%.  That's $70MM total saved compared to average, or $8.8MM per season.  That would be worth a 2-3 win player on the market in '10.  And, actually, I'd bet the '10 levels are about average for the '02-'09 respective markets, so you could think of the Sox as getting an extra above average player per season over the time period covered.

I actually made this calculation another way in a Fanpost at BTB.  To quote myself:

 If you assume that the team loses a 1.5 WAR/150G player and has to call up a replacement level player and .85*Days Missed = Games Missed, then we can use the table and say

.85*DM*1.5/150 = .01*GM = WAR lost to injury

Here's how the Sox did when applying that calculation:

Team Total Days Avg Days/Season WAR Lost WLAA
ANA 1864 233 1.98 -4.05
CHW 2135 266.875 2.27 -3.77
HOU 3888 486 4.13 -1.90
SF 4202 525.25 4.46 -1.57
PHI 4540 567.5 4.82 -1.21
PIT 4759 594.875 5.06 -0.98
MIL 4862 607.75 5.17 -0.87
TBA 4898 612.25 5.20 -0.83
MIN 4917 614.625 5.22 -0.81
OAK 5211 651.375 5.54 -0.50
TOR 5243 655.375 5.57 -0.46
SEA 5245 655.625 5.57 -0.46
CHC 5444 680.5 5.78 -0.25
CLE 5499 687.375 5.84 -0.19
BOS 5556 694.5 5.90 -0.13
COL 5768 721 6.13 0.09
SD 5964 745.5 6.34 0.30
FLO 6007 750.875 6.38 0.35
NYY 6107 763.375 6.49 0.45
ARI 6347 793.375 6.74 0.71
STL 6370 796.25 6.77 0.73
ATL 6574 821.75 6.98 0.95
DET 6621 827.625 7.03 1.00
LAD 6717 839.625 7.14 1.10
CIN 6894 861.75 7.32 1.29
KCR 7206 900.75 7.66 1.62
WAS 7395 924.375 7.86 1.82
BAL 7716 964.5 8.20 2.16
NYM 7922 990.25 8.42 2.38
TEX 8521 1065.125 9.05 3.02

 

WLAA is WAR Lost Above Average, so negative is better.  If Herm is synonymous with the White Sox ability to keep players on the field, then he's been worth 2-4 wins per season since '02.  Either way, this seems to confirm that the Sox are the best in the business when it comes to keeping their guys on the field and that doing so has been a major competitive advantage.