Will Carroll has produced an annual Team Health Report for each MLB team for 12 years. The report gives risk ratings for every player in the expected starting lineup and starting rotation, plus two relievers. A proprietary formula sets a baseline according to a player's age and position. It is adjusted by 12 factors, including injury history, team history and expected workload.
This risk rating is classified into three tiers—red (high risk), yellow (medium risk) and green (lower risk). It should be used as a guideline and is about probability, not prediction. To learn more about how the Team Health Reports are devised, click on this article.
2012 RANK: 18th best of 30 in DL days and dollars lost
Biggest Injury: Brian Wilson, $5.75 million lost value
Head Athletic Trainer: Dave Groeschner
This is the twelfth edition of the Team Health Reports (or a version—we did Position Health Reports one year, but it didn't work as well.) I have never seen something like this before.
There have been teams that didn't have red players. There have been teams with lots of greens. There has never, ever been a team that had every single listed pitcher as a green. Some of them significantly under the yellow threshold. All five starters, both relievers, all green.
It's not just the pitchers. Even with a catcher only a couple years removed from a career-threatening ankle injury and an injury-prone Panda at third, there's not a red to be found. This is simply a low-risk team. If health was a credit rating, the Giants would be getting the good loans.
All this is a huge credit to Dave Groeschner and his staff. Once unfairly pushed out of the same job with the Cubs, Groeschner has been able to keep the work Stan Conte did in San Francisco going, even with complete roster turnover, losing staff, and fighting through some devastating injuries. It's kept Groeschner from collecting a Martin-Monahan Award, but he's collected some other nice prizes.
Even last year, the team was saddled with season-long injuries to players like Brian Wilson and Eric Surkamp, plus long term injuries to Pablo Sandoval and Shane Loux. Aubrey Huff's absence also counts against the medical staff, though it really shouldn't. It kept the final injury stats near the median, though that doesn't tell you how this team got healthy at the right time.
Low-risk doesn't mean this team is going to waltz through the season. Brian Wilson wasn't that risky last season but he lost all of it when his elbow popped. The same could happen to any of them and there's one pitcher I'm keeping a special eye on due to workload.
Still, two rings in three years is pretty special. Building a low-risk, high-talent team like this gives them a chance to go three for four if the Dodgers' big spending ways don't come together quickly.
Click ahead for the Giants. Here are links to all the teams' reports.
|AL East||Baltimore||Boston||New York||Tampa Bay||Toronto|
|AL Central||Chicago||Cleveland||Detroit||Kansas City||Minnesota|
Miami ||New York||Philadelphia||Washington|
|NL Central||Chicago||Cincinnati||Milwaukee||Pittsburgh||St. Louis|
|NL West||Arizona||Colorado||L.A.||San Diego||S.F.|
Will Carroll is the Lead Writer for Sports Medicine at Bleacher Report. He has written about sports injuries and related topics for 12 years. His column is called "the industry standard" by Hall of Famer Peter Gammons.