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: 3rd best of 30 teams in DL days and dollars lost
Biggest Injury: Erasmo Ramirez, $1 million lost value
Head Athletic Trainer: Rick Griffin
The Mariners were a finalist for the Martin-Monahan Award because they had a plan and executed it well. Coming in to the season, the team had a very low-risk profile, despite a number of young players and a couple more risky players.
Taking on some risk, assuming the reward is sufficient, is a smart play. What a team doesn't want to do is load down the medical staff with a ton of risk, because that ends up overwhelming the staff and leading to a "death spiral."
A decade ago, the Mariners were an arm-shredding machine. About the only two pitchers left from those teams are Rafael Soriano and Matt Thornton, who are now both relievers and both have a scar on their elbows. Players like Gil Meche were able to play and play well at times, but there's lots of Ryan Anderson and Bobby Madritsch lying along the highway.
So, what changed?
From the outside, nothing. Sure, the team went from Bill Bavasi's old-school approach to Jack Zduriencik's newer, but still scout-driven, methodology. The team medical staff is largely the same. Same head athletic trainer, same physicians and orthos.
Things do change in baseball. People learn from their mistakes. It's seldom an easy lesson, but the Mariners and the people that were there in 2004 aren't really the same people as the ones in 2013. They've got a decade more experience and more than a few things they've learned along the way.
Click ahead for the Mariners. 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.