health hath no fury

will carroll posted his stl team health report at baseball prospectus today. he calls the cardinals "a good team that is shouldering a considerable amount of risk; one injury to the wrong guy or the wrong spot could drop them back into the middle of an NL Central race."

and carroll?s ratings make it seem as if that the dreaded "injury to the wrong guy" is pretty likely to happen. all four of the cardinals? best players ? pujols, edmonds, rolen, and carpenter ? get a "yellow light" rating, carroll?s symbol for moderate injury risk. another key player, jason isringhausen, gets a red light (ie, high injury risk). so by this system, the odds are pretty high that at least one of these five irreplaceable players will miss some time.

if you?re not familiar with carroll?s system, here?s an article evaluating it. it is basically a way of assigning risk; a green light means a player has less than a 25 percent risk of injury; yellow equals a 25 to 49 percent risk; and red means 50 percent or above. it?s empirically a pretty accurate system: last year 51 percent of the players rated "red light" spent some time on the dl; 39 percent of the yellow lights did likewise; and 27 percent (an elevated figure) of the green lights were disabled.

a few excerpts from the stl health report:

  • pujols: "At some point, the chronic foot problem is going to catch up to him. I just have no idea what point that is. He?s played through that and a torn UCL in his throwing elbow. Short of kryptonite, I don?t think he can be stopped.
  • rolen: "Rolen came back from a similar injury before, so that?s a plus. It?s an all-or-nothing recovery, so that?s a minus."
  • edmonds: "He?s not injury prone anymore, but CFers age quickly and suddenly--see Griffey, Finley, et al.
  • izzy: "Thinking of Izzy like Mariano Rivera isn?t a bad idea--they both have one problem a year and are great the rest of the time."
  • anthony reyes: "Reyes is only good when healthy, which is seldom. His mechanics are worse than when he was at USC."
only one everyday player on the team gets a "green light" (ie, low risk) rating ? eckstein. junior spivey?s rated red ("a fragile player with a wrist injury"), ev?ybody else yellow.

i?m not sure, but i think this is a subscriber-only article; here?s the link, in any case.

the cardinals lead the braves 9-0 through eight innings in kissimmee. chris duncan has homered again, his 3d of the spring, and is 3 for 4 today; scott spiezio launched his 2d hr and has 4 rbi. edmonds and rolen each got 2 hits before departing. carpenter started for st louis and threw four no-hit innings; hancock, thompson, and nelson have since followed. deivi cruz started at 2b; luna subbed in at shortstop and is 1 for 2. spivey has the day off.

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