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: 26th of 30 teams in DL days and dollars lost
Biggest Injury: Chase Utley, $8.1 million lost value
Head Athletic Trainer: Scott Sheridan
The Phillies got old quick. Injuries will do that to a team as much as the calendar.
Injuries to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay highlighted the problem, but it was more deep-seated than that, and this offseason really didn't help. Instead of getting younger, the team seems to be taking an incremental approach and hoping that Scott Sheridan and his staff can hold them together for one more run with this group.
That's not the worst idea. Sheridan and his staff won a Martin-Monahan Award a couple years back, just as their run at the top of the NL East started. Injury stats are often forward indicators, as they were for the Rays and Brewers, but is it also a forward indicator of a decline? The data sure seems to say yes to that.
What's less clear is whether that decline can be halted or even slowed.
This is a team that is flat-out risky. Aside from those "big three" injuries, all of whom must come back to full production for this team to have a chance at .500, let alone a title, there's risk up and down the lineup and there was more brought in. If everything goes right, they could contend, but the Nationals and Braves have made huge leaps in talent, not incremental changes.
This could be the last year of what Ruben Amaro and ownership see as a success window. Charlie Manuel is close to riding off into the sunset and handing over the reins to Ryne Sandberg. Utley and Howard could be near the end as well, especially if they continue to have physical problems. The rest could be quickly torn down for prospects, though likely not to the core like the Marlins did.
The season, then, hinges on the medical staff. If they can get this team back into the upper third of injury stats, there's a chance that the Phillies play into October. If they stay at the back half, they'll likely be in the same place of the standings.
Click ahead for the Phillies. Here are links for 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.