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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

David Wright Sidelined For Two Months

He was back in spring training with the hope of playing again. He wasn’t doing much, but the hope was there, pending further medical evaluations. Now those evaluations are in and, while not necessarily surprising, are not good.

djordan Posted: March 14, 2018 at 08:59 AM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: david wright

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   1. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:02 PM (#5638124)
Over under on the number of plate appearances for Wright this year: 0.5. Sadly, I have to take the under.
   2. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5638138)
I thought Nick Johnson...er, this guy retired.

We really need to come up with the all-time "glass" team.
'
Consider that a challenge! And don't hurt yourself typing too fast.
   3. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:29 PM (#5638141)
Eric Davis
   4. Ziggy's screen name Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:43 PM (#5638148)
J.D. Drew
   5. dejarouehg Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:48 PM (#5638149)
Larry Walker
   6. Sweatpants Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:54 PM (#5638154)
Wright isn't Davis, Drew, or Nick Johnson. He was a very durable player in his twenties. Then he turned 30, and his thirties hit him hard.

Edit: But for the all-glass team I'll nominate Davis's teammate Kal Daniels.
   7. JJ1986 Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:04 PM (#5638157)
Jonny Venters has been injured for the last 5 years and still trying to make a comeback.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:13 PM (#5638159)
Adam Greenberg. Dude couldn't even make it through one pitch without getting hurt.
   9. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:14 PM (#5638161)
I am also a member of "I thought he retired".
   10. Walt Davis Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:19 PM (#5638162)
Agree, "glass" is not appropriate for Wright. From 22-31, he had 6250 PA. That's durable. Then his back went. He's more the "what if" story, closer to Puckett than to Davis.

I'm not sure how we'd define "glass" but a 10-year run like Wright's isn't it.

I don't like the term "glass" for him because it was a mix of serious illness, serious injury, long rehab and age-related rest but Rico Carty was an excellent hitter with 6300 PA spread over parts of 15 seasons. He had only one season over 600 PA and that came at age 36. He missed all of 68 and a bit of 69, all of 71, a month of late 72, and didn't re-establish himself until 75. Given the OFs you've already got, he'd have to DH on this team.

Larkin lasted 19 years and over 9000 PA so "glass" isn't quite right for him either but he missed big chunks of 89, 91, 93, 97, 00 and 01 (then he's just old). But in the other years, he was pretty durable.

He may be too fragile even for the glass team and the injuries did catch up to him at a young age but from ages 21-27, Rich Harden put up 750 innings of 131 ERA+ with a K-rate over 9. For the years 2003-9, among starters with at least 500 IP, looks like he was 10th by ERA+. So when he was healthy enough to pitch, he was pretty darn good. Adam Wainwright appears on that list and is another good candidate for a recent glass SP.

   11. Howie Menckel Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:22 PM (#5638163)
David Wright. Tiger Woods.

Who are two athletes who I was certain were fooling themselves when they kept trying to make comebacks after major back surgery?

Woods finished T-2nd last week and now is the oddsmaker's favorite this weekend in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando (doesn't hurt that he has won the damn event - which is in the Orlando area where he used to live - a silly EIGHT times.

If forced to pick, I'd probably have guessed Wright had the better, if slim, chance. Woods has to swing quite hard at least two dozen times in four hours. Wright has fewer swings in 3 hours, granting he may have to exert himself on some fielding plays as well. well, Wright may do this 6 times in 7 days and ideally takes no weeks off. Woods has 4 days of this and skips some weeks (though he practices every day anyway).
   12. Michael Paulionis Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:23 PM (#5638166)
I don't know if I associate Wright with guys like Walker or Drew.

I think his best comparable is probably a guy like Nomar or Eric Chavez. Nomar got off to a later start than Wright and Chavez, but by 2003 Nomar had 5 All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger. That was the end of his 20's. The 30's were not kind to Mr. Hamm. Chavez at the end of 2005 seemed destined for greatness. Wright at the end of the 2010 season was roughly the same age. Obviously Wright had the 5 All-Stars and 2 Silver Sluggers while Chavez only had a single Silver Slugger, but statistically they were similar. Obviously the market difference had a little to do with Wright's visibility.

I'd love to see Venters make a comeback. Really enjoyed a bunch of those Braves arms that had such potential like Venters, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, and Tommy Hanson (R.I.P.).
   13. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:23 PM (#5638167)
I feel like a bad person but when I saw the headline I assumed it was an improved prognosis.
   14. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:38 PM (#5638181)
I feel like a bad person but when I saw the headline I assumed it was an improved prognosis.


I thought someone resurrected a zombie thread.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:48 PM (#5638185)
Remember, "two months" to a Mets doctor is 3 years to a qualified doctor.
   16. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:53 PM (#5638187)
David Wright is basically a 2010s version of Don Mattingly. Mattingly left the game after his age 34 season. Wright is 35 this year.

   17. Walt Davis Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:57 PM (#5638188)
Back to Harden just cuz I got fascinated with him back when he joined the Cubs. ...

Obviously there may be a million pitchers who qualify as "glass". But most of those are cases where guys were really good for 3-4 years then got hurt and did nothing (Jason Schmidt, Ben Sheets show up). Harden is a guy who pitched some in each of those 7 years, but had just one season of 190 and two seasons close to 150. In those 750 PA, he still put up 18 WAR and 11 WAA. That's 2.5 WAR per "season." In theory, a guy like Harden would be worth a 1/$20 contract -- obviously you wouldn't want to go past one year, the bottom is gonna fall out eventually ... you'd build in incentives so maybe 1/$10 plus $500 K per start over 10, maxing out at 1/$20 in which case you probably got a massive bargain.

The closest current equivalent that springs to mind is Rich Hill -- surely the Dodgers knew he wasn't likely to give them 180 innings a year at ages 37-39, they just want 100-150 Rich Hill quality innings. Last year he made it to 136 innings which was good enough for 2.2 WAR, 1.1 WAA for $16 M. By WAR, he was tied for 53rd among starters, a little better by WAA.
   18. Leroy Kincaid Posted: March 14, 2018 at 08:15 PM (#5638191)
You can be sidelined from the sidelines?
   19. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 14, 2018 at 08:16 PM (#5638192)
Juan Gonzalez is another guy who, I think, went from pretty sturdy and prolific to a guy who, upon hitting his early 30s, couldn't take a swing without landing on the DL. Guys like Wright and Nomar and Chavez were probably a little bit better but didn't have the hardware Gonzalez accrued.

IIRC, he walked away from a huge contract in Detroit before completely falling to pieces to boot.
   20. zachtoma Posted: March 14, 2018 at 08:24 PM (#5638195)
I'd love to see Venters make a comeback. Really enjoyed a bunch of those Braves arms that had such potential like Venters, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, and Tommy Hanson (R.I.P.).


And Jair Jurrjens. And Mike Minor. The Braves lost an entire young, cost-controlled rotation to devastating injuries. It's not the only reason, but it's a big part of why they ended up where they are now after a very promising run in 2010-13. For the record, I think Beachy was the best of them.
   21. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 14, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5638197)
Mark Prior.
   22. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: March 14, 2018 at 09:04 PM (#5638200)
Like Wright I have a secondary shoulder impingement that was a spinoff from an undiagnosed rotator cuff injury. I've been doing constant rehab on it for a decade and can't lift that arm much above shoulder level or throw a baseball at an angle above sidearm. Even ignoring the back, I couldn't imagine Wright coming back as a third baseman with that shoulder. I'd say, "But he's getting better medical care than I am", but he's under contract with the Mets so that's probably not true.

Good luck to him, I hope he plays a little bit more.
   23. flournoy Posted: March 14, 2018 at 10:33 PM (#5638220)
I nominate Chad Fox for this team.
   24. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 12:07 AM (#5638241)
When I save up enough money to open my Garden of Very Good in Cooperstown, David Wright is going to be an inaugural member. He was a great, HOF worthy talent right up until his back gave out. And I remember arguing with people here who thought Pablo Sandoval was a better player.
   25. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 15, 2018 at 01:37 AM (#5638247)
And I remember arguing with people here who thought Pablo Sandoval was a better player.


Count Da Ringz baby! And the epic 3 homer Series game. Did David ever do those things? I don't think so!

.426 .460 .702 1.162

Yeah, that's fat panda in the WS. That's Ruthian baby! Well maybe Ortizian....well I don't know but the dude hit when it mattered(SSS caveats apply of course)
   26. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 02:09 AM (#5638250)
All-Glass Team:

Mark Clear
Ralph Glaze
Razor Shines
Ben Sheets
Specs Toporcer
Mike Blowers
Ray Flaskamper
Jose Vidro
Con Lucid
Chuck Sheerin
   27. zachtoma Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:08 AM (#5638252)
How about Pete Reiser?
   28. . . . . . . Posted: March 15, 2018 at 06:21 AM (#5638256)
It’s not as bad as C, of course, but 3B can be really rough on a guy’s body. Wright, Chavez and Rolen are recent examples. Al Rosen would’ve been an all timer if his back hadn’t blown out. Molitor couldn’t stay on the field as a 3B.

There are obviously guys like Chipper, Boyer (the Better) or Nettles who seem to be able to do it forever, but there’s a big gap between its perception as a hitting position and the wear and tear it puts on you.
   29. Conor Posted: March 15, 2018 at 07:50 AM (#5638263)
I've thought for a while Wright will never play again, and this isnt making me change my mind.

I'm not sure if you can search for this on the play index, but assuming Wright never plays another game, he will have homered in each of his final 3 games. I wonder if anyone else has ever done that?
   30. eric Posted: March 15, 2018 at 09:09 AM (#5638275)
It’s not as bad as C, of course, but 3B can be really rough on a guy’s body. Wright, Chavez and Rolen are recent examples. Al Rosen would’ve been an all timer if his back hadn’t blown out. Molitor couldn’t stay on the field as a 3B.

There are obviously guys like Chipper, Boyer (the Better) or Nettles who seem to be able to do it forever, but there’s a big gap between its perception as a hitting position and the wear and tear it puts on you.


Edgar Martinez is another example of a 3B with health issues. Jim Thome? Or was he just defensively challenged?

But that is a good point. Nolan Ryan's or, more recently, Greg Maddux's existence do not mean pitching is without peril. I wonder if 3B really is that hard a position or if it's just some combination of a) a few big names with issues and/or b) 3B is a middle road where a lot of "bigger" and less lithe players play, so of (3B/SS/2B) it's just the most likely to have guys for whom diving all over the place is most likely to cause problems, and/or c) the most hitter-oriented position of (3B/SS/2B) it's the one where guys who get injured are most likely to be able to hit enough to move to 1B/DH/corner OF and still have a productive career--some random SS who can't handle SS any more is unlikely to hit enough to even be considered to play 1B or DH.
   31. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: March 15, 2018 at 09:22 AM (#5638280)
It’s not as bad as C, of course, but 3B can be really rough on a guy’s body. Wright, Chavez and Rolen are recent examples. Al Rosen would’ve been an all timer if his back hadn’t blown out. Molitor couldn’t stay on the field as a 3B.


Compared to what besides catcher?

The slide rules may have lessened the risk, but I'd still put 2B behind catcher... probably SS, too. I'm not seeing how 3B is any more taxing than 1B - I suppose one can point to the danger of a 3B playing in against a hitter pulling a wicked line drive at him, but that's more of a direct injury risk than it is a grind that wears out the body.

1B/3B vs OF (particularly CF)? IDK... probably depends on a lot of factors.

I think it's more a matter of 3B generally being larger guys -- too large to slide up the spectrum to the MI and bigger guys are more prone to back problems and the like.
   32. Batman Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5638331)
I'm not sure if you can search for this on the play index, but assuming Wright never plays another game, he will have homered in each of his final 3 games. I wonder if anyone else has ever done that?
It looks like nobody has. Maikel Franco homered in his last three games last year and George Springer homered in the last four World Series games. I haven't heard that either of them is considering retirement though.
   33. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5638348)
Ellis Burks. Damn good hitter, only topped 140 games in 5 seasons out of 18.
   34. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5638352)
The slide rules may have lessened the risk, but I'd still put 2B behind catcher... probably SS, too. I'm not seeing how 3B is any more taxing than 1B - I suppose one can point to the danger of a 3B playing in against a hitter pulling a wicked line drive at him, but that's more of a direct injury risk than it is a grind that wears out the body.


Whatever it is, it seems like the body wears out at 3B and especially the back. Could it just be all the maximum-effort throws to first?
   35. Batman Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5638365)
Joe Crede broke down early because of his back too. His last full season (and his best season) was at 28 and he played his last game at 31.
   36. Booey Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5638375)
Juan Gonzalez is another guy who, I think, went from pretty sturdy and prolific to a guy who, upon hitting his early 30s, couldn't take a swing without landing on the DL.


I wouldn't say that Juan gone was ever really sturdy. He'd regularly miss 20-30 games a season even during his 20's (only played 150+ games twice).

But yeah, his 30's were something else. And his final season was legendary: a season (and ultimately career) ending injury in his first at bat!
   37. Booey Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5638379)
No mention of Griffey in his 30's?
   38. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5638397)
Maikel Franco homered in his last three games last year and George Springer homered in the last four World Series games. I haven't heard that either of them is considering retirement though.


The new, improved Franco has a .557 OPS this spring. I don't know his option status. So maybe he'll tie that record!
   39. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5638406)
Whatever it is, it seems like the body wears out at 3B and especially the back. Could it just be all the maximum-effort throws to first?


I think the throws from SS tend to be more stressful - particularly going to the right.

Again, I just think it's the body type... While there are obviously RH 1B - generally speaking, that's where the immobile LH is gonna play.

So, the taller guys who are RH are basically gonna play LF/RF/3B. To the extent there's any real physical difference, the only one that pops into my mind is that a 3B in a ready position on the pitch is going to be more crouched than an OF. I suppose doing that 150 or so times a day - and remember, we ARE generally talking about taller players - is going to have an effect.

I do recall that when Kris Bryant was drafted/in the minors - the talk of perhaps shifting off 3B for good and into the OF was more than just "Can he hack it defensively?" - there was also some "He's a pretty tall guy and moving to the OF might be better for him health-wise"... but I guess i just still think we're really dealing with body type more than we are specific physical demands of the position.
   40. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5638408)
Oh yes, the crouching. That's got to be a big factor.
   41. eric Posted: March 15, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5638420)
How has Carney Lansford's back held up?
   42. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2018 at 12:33 PM (#5638436)
How has Carney Lansford's back held up?
He returned to his native crab people after retiring.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: March 15, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5638440)
We're crab people now!
   44. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: March 15, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5638442)
Oh yes, the crouching. That's got to be a big factor.


Yeah - I guess I probably didn't consider that enough initially thinking about it... though, I imagine we're still leading back to body types - as the same is gonna apply to other IFs. I guess I was just thinking "FFS, they're athletes generally under 40, most under 30!" - I mean, I'm over 40 and yeah - certain tasks (home repair, whatever) that require me to do some extended crouching really kill my back :-)

   45. Khrushin it bro Posted: March 15, 2018 at 02:43 PM (#5638556)
Rich Harden once strained his shoulder reaching for his alarm clock. He's gotta have a spot in the rotation for that.
   46. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: March 15, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5638597)
James Creighton.
   47. Swoboda is freedom Posted: March 15, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5638638)
Milton Bradley- the guy was always hurt. He was hurt one time when being pulled away from an ump for arguing.
   48. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5638646)
He was hurt one time when being pulled away from an ump for arguing.
Talk about your microcosms.
   49. TJ Posted: March 15, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5638664)
Top of the Head All Glass Team

1B- Nick Johnson, team captain.
2B- Mark Ellis seemed to always miss time, as I recall.
SS- Troy Tulowitzki, who would get hurt just spelling "injury"...
3B- Gotta agree on Eric Chavez.
C- Hmmm, maybe Todd Hundley?
LF- Rico Carty was a great call by someone earlier...
CF- Eric Davis was another.
RF- I'll go along with Larry Walker.
DH- Can't leave JD Drew off this team.
SP- The Marlins Fragile Foursome of Josh Johnson, Josh beckett, AJ Burnett, and Anibal Sanchez.
Closer- Matt Mantei, who was a walking medical nightmare.
   50. Batman Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5638673)
Bob Horner could fill in at third or first during the week between Johnson and Chavez's injuries and his own.
   51. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5638676)
The Marlins Fragile Foursome Rotation doesn't have Carl Pavano on it?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
   52. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5638680)
Milton Bradley- the guy was always hurt. He was hurt one time when being pulled away from an ump for arguing.


So his body was like his feelings?
   53. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:16 PM (#5638684)
DH- Can't leave JD Drew off this team.
I'd put Davis at DH instead. Less risk of injury.
   54. Walt Davis Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:45 PM (#5638704)
3B ... SoSH did a pretty thorough look at aging by position, mainly focused on 2B but the other positions come up, and didn't really find anything. I looked at it many moons ago when I first got the Lahman database and didn't find anything either. The fact is very few players at any position play on a regular basis after 35-36 if they even last that long.

There tends to be a lot of diving at 3B, moreso than 1B, which has to take a toll especially on big guys. Those weird throws on bunts aren't easy either but those are pretty rare these days.

Anyway, we've seen a ton of guys playing the position for very long times now. Chipper, Beltre, Boggs, Brooks, Nettles. Bearing in mind there were barely any good 3B before Mathews, that's a goodly number for 60-70 years. Again, given how rarely players last past 35-36, do we count Buddy Bell as an "early" end even though he had 600 PA at 35 and played parts of the next two seasons (and couldn't hit anymore)?

And as noted, there's nowhere for an aging 3B to go except 1B/DH. At that age, it's unlikely they have the range even for LF so they'd have to be an awesome bat to make that move. Hitting at 1B/DH/LF levels at age 36 is also rare.

I do suspect there are some guys -- ARod, Chipper, and Wright -- who probably would have benefited if they had been moved off 3B at some earlier point. In ARod's case, it was mainly the investment -- you want him primarily for his bat and you've got him on a 10/$250 contract, try to optimize his health. But there's the equally persuasive argument of maximize his value while he's healthy cuz he's probably not gonna be that healthy in his late 30s no matter what you do. (Proper answer of course was to never to sign him for that long to begin with.) Chipper did hold up quite well and Freeman eventually established himself anyway. Wright I think I suggested a move to 1B as soon as the back started acting up (or was it the shoulder first? Neither is good for a 3B.)

I don't know if it's justified but when Bryant was first coming up and we saw how well he played OF, some folks were claiming there's evidence that tall 3B have been prone to back problems after 5+ years.

As to SS -- those wiry little guys last forever. Some slugging SS get chased off the position because they can't handle it anymore (or get hurt) but the glove guys never go away. Or at least didn't before the dawn of the 13th pitcher -- a team today may not be able to find 150 PA for a 45-year-old Vizquel. :-)
   55. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 06:06 PM (#5638718)

There's a big difference between guys like Wright, who had a HOVG career, and guys like Nick Johnson who never stayed healthy long enough to have much of a career at all.
   56. Walt Davis Posted: March 15, 2018 at 06:07 PM (#5638719)
On "glass" ... again, I don't think a guy like Prior is quite what we're after. He was a young phenom who got hurt (twice) and was never the same again. He was done by 24. I can see something of a case for him as he had a glassy start but mainly he's "career-ending injury" not "glass." He did get lots of chances to rehab which is partly where the "always hurt" notion comes from.

Kerry Wood is probably a better example. He missed all of age 22, a bit of 23, a bit of 27, most but not all of 28-30, came back as an occasionally effective reliever. All told he played in parts of 14 seasons in 15 years and came up a bit short of 1400 innings. That's what I think a glassy SP looks like.

Carpenter is a possibility but may be too much of an on/off type -- pretty durable for about 4 years, miss most of two years, durable for 3 years, miss most of two years, durable for 3 years. He pitched bits of 15 seasons in 16 years but did make it to 2200 innings with about 2000 of those compressed into 10 fully-healthy years.

Josh Johnson is a good, Harden-esque example.

So for "glass" I think we're looking for (ideally) (a) lots of seasons played in; (b) but not a lot of IP or PA per season played; (c) but was nearly always a regular when he played (to avoid platoon guys ... which may include Carty); then (d) screen out Wright types who were durable for long stretches then got hurt or aged (i.e. Wright and Griffey became glass in their 30s). Criterion (a) is a bit flexible if there are fully missed seasons in the middle which will happen more with pitchers.
   57. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 15, 2018 at 07:32 PM (#5638742)
I give you Ben McDonald.
One of the greatest pitching prospects ever. Had a couple of seasons with 30+ starts, then injured for a couple of seasons, another 30+ start season, followed by 20+ starts, out of baseball by 29.

I was thinking Brandon Webb also, but....

So for "glass" I think we're looking for (ideally) (a) lots of seasons played in; (b) but not a lot of IP or PA per season played; (c) but was nearly always a regular when he played


I agree with Walt's assessment.

When I threw the idea out there I didn't give any consideration to a hard and fast definition. I was just considering solid players who just couldn't ever stay healthy.
I know Larry Walker missed quite a bit of time, but not enough to put up a HOF career. I think your RF for the glass team must be JD Drew as mentioned above.
   58. eric Posted: March 15, 2018 at 08:45 PM (#5638760)
So for "glass" I think we're looking for (ideally) (a) lots of seasons played in; (b) but not a lot of IP or PA per season played; (c) but was nearly always a regular when he played (to avoid platoon guys ... which may include Carty); then (d) screen out Wright types who were durable for long stretches then got hurt or aged (i.e. Wright and Griffey became glass in their 30s). Criterion (a) is a bit flexible if there are fully missed seasons in the middle which will happen more with pitchers.


Seems like Eric Chavez should then be booted off the glass team by criterion (d). He had a seven-season stretch of games played: 153, 151, 153, 156, 125, 160, 137. That's pretty durable for an extended period. In fact, his 1035 games played over that period is only two behind Wright's seven-year best of 1037. So unless 1036 is the cutoff...

Chavez's next eight seasons were definitely HOF caliber glass-tastic.
   59. cardsfanboy Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:41 PM (#5638792)
Whatever it is, it seems like the body wears out at 3B and especially the back. Could it just be all the maximum-effort throws to first?


Wouldn't if more likely be damaged from sudden plays stretching the back... With the middle infield positions, they often get a step or two to help loosen the body, but the corners get hard shots and have to act quickly, and there is no gradual stretching of the muscles (or whatever)
   60. Walt Davis Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:59 PM (#5638803)
#58: Assuming of course we can find a better candidate for 3B. Rolen's the obvious one but #57 has a point that HoF-caliber careers probably shouldn't count either.

Bob Horner maybe? Parts of 10 seasons over 11 years, never reached 600 PA, never as many as 140 starts, only twice over 120. 1981 was the strike year but still just 79 starts in 106 games. To be honest, I really didn't recall him being hurt that often, I just took a punt and looked him up. I also thought he reached a pretty sucky level but no -- his last season in Atlanta was league-average, off to Japan for one year, back to StL where he wasn't good but still put up a 102 OPS+ and barely positive WAR. He was done at 31 so not an ideal candidate for the all-glass team.

Matt Williams maybe as he was still at 3B at 37. I don't know how much of the low PA totals at the end were aging or fragility and he was very healthy from 24-27 then pretty durable from 31-33.

Doing a semi-formal search, not already mentioned ... Tulo is a good one (I know, he was mentioned, just verifying). Was Dykstra glass-y or platooned? Van Slyke? Maris looks pretty glassy. Lonnie Smith -- some of it was having trouble breaking into the lineup. How did we forget Kirk Gibson? Pedro Guerrero maybe. Carlos Guillen maybe.

Infield just seems hard to find these guys who were in and out all the time. Maybe it's because the injuries force them to move or the bat's just not good enough to play once the injuries start to hit. Or my memory just sucks.

   61. SoSH U at work Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:33 PM (#5638814)
To be honest, I really didn't recall him being hurt that often, I just took a punt and looked him up.


I'm surprised you don't recall that. His fragility was a regular topic during his playing days.
   62. Walt Davis Posted: March 16, 2018 at 01:37 AM (#5638834)
We didn't have cable so the Braves barely existed in those days. :-)

Anyway, my brain had it more like he had 4-5 good seasons then everything went haywire. Possibly the lizard part remembered and nudged me to check him.

That 1982 team was a weird one -- 89 wins on 0.8 WAA to top the Dodgers (12 WAA) by a game. Garber and Bedrosian combined for 7 WAR out of the pen but the rest of the pen was below-replacement. Rafael Ramirez put up 3.5 of his career 6.1 WAR ... so that was 2.6 WAR in his other 5200 PA.
   63. TJ Posted: March 16, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5638972)
The Marlins Fragile Foursome Rotation doesn't have Carl Pavano on it?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?


Good one, Crispex! How could I forget Pavano? Man, I think I hurt my arm just thinking about those Marlins pitchers...
   64. TJ Posted: March 16, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5638984)
Whatever it is, it seems like the body wears out at 3B and especially the back. Could it just be all the maximum-effort throws to first?


Wouldn't if more likely be damaged from sudden plays stretching the back... With the middle infield positions, they often get a step or two to help loosen the body, but the corners get hard shots and have to act quickly, and there is no gradual stretching of the muscles (or whatever)


I think you're both right, and there might be more factors in play. Third base has a lot of sudden twists on shots to the left and right, it seems like there are more dive plays at third than anywhere else on the infield, and third basemen are bigger now that it has become more of a power position. That all has to wear and tear the back- I know I was very happy when my coaches moved me off third base and over to second, and I'm not that big of a guy.
   65. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 16, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5639019)
Good one, Crispex! How could I forget Pavano? Man, I think I hurt my arm just thinking about those Marlins pitchers..


You'd better wait for the snow to melt, rather than risk spleen injury.
   66. Rusty Priske Posted: March 16, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5639113)
The career of David Wright had become a very sad thing to watch.

He was a great player and looked to be a top level talent, but now he is mostly remembered for the time he missed.

I remember him in AAA, on the road here in Ottawa.

I remember telling my friend Jason, sitting next to me at the game, that I heard big things. This Wright guy was supposed to be the next big thing.

His first two swings were homeruns.
   67. Walt Davis Posted: March 17, 2018 at 07:40 PM (#5639452)
Eons ago, SNY (or somebody) did an all-New York team, putting ARod at 3B. At the time I may have argued some for Nettles (since one would assume that only NY play counted) but I also noted that Wright might overtake ARod ... again, based on play in NY. I was also guessing ARod would move to DH sooner than he did but recognized that Wright might move as well. So how did it turn out?

ARod: 6520 PA, 54 WAR, 1181 3B starts
Wright: 6869 PA, 50 WAR, 1570 3B starts

Close, I might lean towards Wright based on 3B starts and not getting busted for PEDs but he certainly didn't "overtake" ARod in any meaningful sense. Nettles is a clear third by WAR with 6248 PA and 44 WAR, looks like he's about 80 starts short of Wright.
   68. Jason Dean Posted: March 17, 2018 at 09:02 PM (#5639466)
Woods has to swing quite hard at least two dozen times in four hours.

At a stationary object.
   69. NattyBoh Posted: March 18, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5639525)
Who can forget Chris Brown aka "The Tin Man"?
   70. Howie Menckel Posted: March 18, 2018 at 07:59 PM (#5639609)
partial hijack: Woods was within one shot of the lead on the 16th tee of the Arnold Palmer Invitational PGA Tour event today.
sure, he hit the tee shot out of bounds (2-stroke penalty) and Rory McIlroy went all blitzkrieg, so Woods tied for 5th.

but he's back, baby.
   71. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: March 19, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5639730)
Wright isn't Davis, Drew, or Nick Johnson. He was a very durable player in his twenties. Then he turned 30, and his thirties hit him hard.


Never the same after Matt Cain plugged him in the coconut.
   72. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: March 19, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5639732)
16

David Wright is basically a 2010s version of Don Mattingly. Mattingly left the game after his age 34 season. Wright is 35 this year.


This. I've been saying it for almost 3 years now.

   73. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 19, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5639757)
For several years in the 1990's and 2000's, the annual gag on a Rangers mailing list I was on was, "It's February, so that means (1990 first-round pick) Dan Smith is 100% healthy and in the best shape of his life."

For the uninitiated (mostly as a starter):

YEAR INNINGS
1990 63
1991 151.2
1992 160.2
1993 22.1
1994 43.2
1995 DID NOT PLAY
1996 88.1
1997 159
1998 112
1999 74.2
2000 78
2001 46.2


Robb Nen was another glass-armed Rangers prospect around the same time. It wasn't until he got moved to the bullpen (or -- more likely -- "escaped the Rangers organization") that he developed into a reliable relief arm.

YEAR INNINGS (again, mostly as a starter)
1987 2.1
1988 96.2
1989 138.1
1990 80.1
1991 28
1992 25
1993 84.4

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