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: 9th best of 30 teams in DL days and dollars lost
Biggest Injury: Jed Lowrie, $5 million lost value
Head Athletic Trainer: Nathan Lucero
This is the last of the 30 reports that I wrote this year. I saved it for last purposefully, because at the start of this process, running the numbers through the server for the first time, I had no idea what to expect from the Houston Astros.
I still don't.
While I can look at the ratings and projections and everything else about the Houston Astros, I have no feel at all for this team. Under general manager Jeff Luhnow, the Astros have collected a lot of people from inside and outside the game. They're looking at everything in a fresh way while not rocking the boat too much just yet.
Injury management is an interesting factor. As a team building through the draft and international signings, Houston has financial incentive to do poorly. I think the Astros would be angry if they won 65 games and lost the picks and extra signing pool that the collective bargaining agreement would otherwise provide them.
Does a team that's intentionally bad care about health? Certainly, it would want to take a long-term approach with players. That can be as much about keeping a mediocre regular healthy in order to keep a younger player on the farm as it is normal injury management.
The Astros are going to be interesting to watch in a car-crash, can't-look-away kind of way to be sure, but if you get a chance to glance at what's happening medically, you might get a better look at the future.
Click ahead for the Astros. 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.