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: 29th best of 30 teams in DL days and dollars lost
Biggest Injury: David Ortiz, $7 million lost value
Head Athletic Trainer: Richard Jameyson
The easy version of the story is that the Red Sox were a mismanaged mess last season due to a dysfunctional clubhouse and a manager who didn't just know which buttons to push, but seemed to delight in pushing the wrong ones. Valentine seemed to be like a kid in the elevator, the annoying one that pushes every button, and whose mother thinks it's cute.
But what if the easy version isn't entirely true?
What if there's more to the story, levels and nuances and the kind of things that happen when an entire organization becomes rudderless. It's more complex than "Bobby stinks" or "Theo's gone." Bringing back John Farrell was a nice move, or at least a nice idea, but there are signs that the easy version of the story isn't the whole story.
Curt Schilling intimated that he had been offered PEDs by the medical staff, a charge that MLB had investigated years ago and found "baseless." His explanation? That he didn't want to throw someone under the bus back then. Then he tossed another grenade by making Toradol sound like a major problem inside the clubhouse.
Schilling is quickly turning into the ex-player version of Skip Bayless.
The Red Sox should have big advantages, but maybe Bill James didn't find them "aesthetically pleasing," as he explained on MLB Network. He still seems to like platoons of all sorts, putting together what looks like a Strat-O-Matic offense and a matchup bullpen. James' influence has been seen in the makeup of the team, with many suggestions streaming out of the ever-leaky front office that James might have more influence now than ever on certain issues.
The big weakness right now is the medical side. Injuries stack up like cord wood inside the training room, pitchers break down from overwork, and there's no evidence that the progressive approaches to pitching development have made any inroads despite some previous indications that money was being spent on both research and technology. If they lose their rehab advantage, there's not going to be much left to lift them off their penultimate ranking.
The easy version of the 2013 season is that Bobby V is back on TV, a new medical staff will change things, and the team is all happy, happy, happy. Don't buy that any more than you buy the easy version of last year.
Some people like it simple, but those people usually don't have it right.
Click ahead for the Red Sox. Here are links to all the teams' health 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.