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: 4th best of 30 teams in DL days and dollars lost
Biggest Injury: John Danks, $8.2 million
Head Athletic Trainer: Herm Schneider
And so begins my annual paean to Herm Schneider. Schneider has been around long enough to be the last grandfathered trainer to not have the NATA certification, which is not to say he's not qualified. He's certainly experienced, joining the Chicago White Sox in 1979 after winning a couple of World Series rings working with Gene Monahan and the New York Yankees.
The White Sox finished the 2012 season with yet another top-10 ranking and more to add to the pot of money that they have saved for Jerry Reinsdorf. In a 2010 article, I calculated that the White Sox medical staff had saved nearly an entire season's budget over the previous decade. Buy nine, get the 10th free isn't a bad motto for a good medical staff.
The tough part here is that no one man or even one department deserves all the credit. Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn brought in mostly healthy players, only occasionally challenging Schneider with a Jermaine Dye or Carlos Quentin. Don Cooper seems to have a lot to do with things, giving some consistency across managers, which allows for some isolation.
We'll get more of an indication on Cooper with this year's other Sox. It's not a perfect measure, but Juan Nieves takes on the pitching coach job in Boston after studying under Cooper for several years. It's a reasonable assumption to think he'll bring some of that to Boston's risky rotation.
This Sox team is a bit riskier than normal, especially with pitchers, but we'll see what magic Schneider and his staff can pull off this year. If they're not back in the top 10 at the end of the season, that would be one of the biggest surprises in baseball.
Click ahead for the White Sox. 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.