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: 27th-best of 30 teams in DL days and dollars lost
Biggest Injury: Matt Kemp, $6.1 million lost value
Head Athletic Trainer: Sue Falsone
The Dodgers have done a lot of spending over the last year, taking the Guggenheim billions and changing everything. Bringing in Gerry Hunsicker to act as consigliere, the same role he took in the rise of the Rays, gives Dodgers fans even more hope.
But the money they spent on research started under Frank McCourt. Sue Falsone took over the training room in order to let Stan Conte do more of the research and big-picture research that could give the Dodgers the medical advantage they had in the days of Frank Jobe.
The downside is that long-term research doesn't have short-term results. The Dodgers have taken on a lot of risk while Ned Colletti has been in charge, chasing big names more than healthy players.
One of the things that I've tried to do over the years, but have yet to find an accurate method for, is to measure the accepted risk and compare that to actual results. It's one thing to say that a team finished 27th in days and dollars lost, as the Dodgers did, but it would be far better to say that the team finished 200 days below expected days lost.
The Dodgers have been, over the past five years, a team that should have been in the bottom of these rankings. In 2010, every Dodger starter was a red risk, and they finished the season having to use 10 different starters. They ended up at nearly .500, so it wasn't a big detriment to the team on the field, which sounds like a win for the medical staff.
This Dodgers team doesn't have nearly the risk of past teams. Simply put, the Dodgers bought some health. They are far from risk free, but even players like Carl Crawford and Mark Ellis are known risks. The team has smartly backed them up well, so even another injury won't derail the team.
Measuring risk is difficult and often inaccurate in its effect. While I work to improve that, the Dodgers are one of few teams spending money on the research that may make that kind of statistical analysis a moot point.
Click ahead for the Dodgers. 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.