Did the Mets have a normal amount of injuries in 2013?

Injured MetEarlier, I read an article lamenting all of the injuries that befell the Toronto Blue Jays this season. It said: “Encarnacion and Cecil became the 21st and 22nd different victims of the ongoing Toronto Blue Jays pandemic this season.” That led me to wonder – What’s a “normal” number of injuries to hit a team in a season?

I decided to go to the transactions pages at MLB.com and search all of the disabled list moves for each of the teams in the National League East. These lists were created by hand, so it’s certainly possible that I missed some, as these list many more moves besides DL trips. Also, it’s far from a given that every DL move is recorded. Given those two items, consider these lists a minimum number of moves for each club. Also, since the Blue Jays writer listed “different victims,” I did not count if a player went on the DL more than once.

Braves (19) – Ayala, Beachy, DeWitt, Freeman, Gattis, Heyward, Hudson, Johnson, Laird, Maholm, Martinez, McCann, O’Flaherty, Pasternicky, Schafer, Uggla, B. Upton, Venters, Walden.

Marlins (17) – Alvarez, Ceda, Coghlan, Diaz, Eovaldi, Hechavarria, Kotchman, Mahoney, Mathis, Morrison, Ozuna, Polanco, Sanabia, Silverio, Slowey, Stanton, Valaika.

Mets (17) – Atchison, Davis, Duda, Edgin, Familia, Francisco, Harvey, Hefner, Marcum, Mejia, Niese, Parnell, Rice, Santana, Tejada, Turner, Wright.

Nationals (12) – Detwiler, Espinosa, Garcia, Haren, Harper, Jordan, Matthews, Ohlendorf, Ramos, Strasburg, Werth, Zimmerman.

Phillies (15) – Adams, Brown, Halladay, Horst, Howard, Kendrick, Krantz, Lannan, Pettibone, Revere, Ruiz, Stutes, Utley, Wells, D. Young.

So, we have six of the 30 teams in MLB and the average unique DL moves in our sample comes out to 17 moves per season. Of course, raw totals are just one factor to consider. It’s a lot different if the guys who are getting hurt are Seaver, Koosman and Matlack rather than Boisclair, Flynn and Foli. Also, this considers each DL move equally, when in reality some are for 15 days while others are for 60 days and more.

The 2013 Mets had a pretty normal number of unique DL moves. However, the injuries were heavily tilted towards longer DL stints, with 10 season-ending injuries and Jeurys Familia and Frank Francisco missing well over half a season because of their ailments. David Wright had one of the shorter DL stints of the year for the Mets and he missed 48 days.

It seems like it’s been a non-stop DL parade since 2009, the year the Mets had both quantity and quality on the DL for extended stretches. Perhaps it was just payback for the 2006-08 period when Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes and Wright played nearly every day. In 2008, that quartet played in 639 out of a possible 648 games.

May we all live long enough to see the Mets have four stars like that in their lineup again and enjoy the health that they did in 2008. And as long as we’re dreaming – how about a better bullpen than that year’s team had, too.

6 comments for “Did the Mets have a normal amount of injuries in 2013?

  1. September 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Injuries are to be expected. That’s why depth is so important.

    • Metsense
      September 26, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Amen Paul. That is the truth in a nutshell.
      I have a friend who is employed by a major league team as a trainer in their organization. We talked about David Wright’s hamstring injury. He stated to me that Wright should not have played a day game after the night game and instead should have been given intense treatment so he would be ready to play soon. He further stated that all players play injured and don’t play at 100%, more like 75% because of the injuries and daily bang ups caused by the game. I asked him should Wright have been sat down by the manager and he said that the players, because of the power of the CBA, actually are calling the shots. Imagine that!
      Maybe when that philosophy changes, the players will be less likely to get injured.

  2. AJ
    September 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Have to hand it to the Braves (man, do I hate saying that…), they not only had a lot of injuries, they had substantial injuries to key players, and they still had a great season. No doubt the difference is depth. I remember the first few games after Wright went down, watching and thinking how pitifully limp the lineup looked without him. The Mets seemed to handle their pitching losses better than the position player losses, and that would be right in line with the perception that they currently have much greater depth in their pitching.

    That stat you quote from the ’08 season, the number of games in which Wright, Reyes, Beltran and Delgado all played, is amazing. It makes that year’s failure even more profound.

  3. Austin G.
    September 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I’m sure this has been brought up before, and I’m not looking for a scapegoat, but is Ray Ramirez at all responsible for any of this? A lot of it is out of his control of course, but if a hitting or pitching coach is dismissed even though the struggles may not be their faults, shouldn’t the trainers have similar standards? This question is probably impossible to answer, but when it comes to injuries and health, the training staff has to be the first suspect since that is the entirety of their job. Maybe making a change helps, maybe it doesn’t, but on what basis is Ray Ramirez and his staff evaluated by exactly?

  4. steevy
    September 26, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    12 pitchers on the Mets list.Dan Warthen has nothing to do with it though.

    • Austin G.
      September 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      If it were regarding pitching performance, then it might be relevant. Warthen isn’t a health or fitness coach so he shouldn’t be evaluated on things that are not related to his job tasks — just as Ray Ramirez would not be responsible for Robert Carson’s inability to stay out of the middle of the plate, for example.

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