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: 22nd of 30 teams in DL days and dollars lost
Biggest Injury: Jorge De La Rosa, $9.1 million lost value
Head Athletic Trainer: Keith Dugger
The Rockies experimented with the four-man rotation last season, but while I applaud trying things like this, I can't really give any kudos to desperation. That's all it was, but the realization that they didn't have five valid starting pitchers is one more teams could note.
While the Rockies' four-man was a strict system that didn't involve much in the way of preparation or science, it did show that it's not an immediate arm-shredder. Even in a group of pitchers that were ill-suited to this kind of rotation, it worked, more or less.
The Rockies won't continue with this, largely because Walt Weiss, the new manager, wasn't on board. Weiss is a blank slate as a manager, so we have to assume that he'll be a product of his past and likely a Tony La Russa disciple. That may work as a change from the twists and turns of Jim Tracy's style, but it probably won't win.
Worse, Weiss now has to deal with five, not four, risky pitchers. The team is in a unique situation here, with several different kinds of risk and paths to the 1,000 innings a team needs to get from it's starters. My guess is that the Rockies could set a record for the number of starting pitchers used this season. That's not a good thing.
The team has struggled with injuries and has never been able to really push toward the top of the health rankings. But that's not to say that the work done by Keith Dugger and his staff is substandard. Anything but, in fact, given the unique challenges of playing in Denver and the accepted risks that Dan O'Dowd not only brought in, but held on to.
Todd Helton's continued presence is an echo of Chipper Jones' latter years in Atlanta, without the production as a payoff. This team doesn't profile much better, meaning Dugger will be running hard just to stay in place. Anything less than perfection from the medical staff could have this team chasing the Astros in the fight for the first pick.
Click ahead for the Rockies. 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.