2012 Yankees Injury Data

Cashman says he's not planning to trade A-Rod
Breaking even on an A-Rod trade

It’s no secret that the Yankees lost a ton of players to injuries in 2012, ranging from short-term bumps and bruises (CC Sabathia‘s groin strain) to medium-term ailments (Andy Pettitte‘s fractured leg) to long-term, potentially career-altering injuries (Michael Pineda‘s torn labrum). Jeff Zimmerman recently released injury data for the season, and all told the Yankees lost 1,753 days due to injury. If that sounds like a lot, it is. Only the Padres (1,883) lost more time to injury. The Mariners were baseball’s healthiest team in 2012 at only 452 days lost to injury.

The chart above shows average time lost to injury over the last three years, and you can see that the Yankees tend to lose more time than any other club. Now part of that is skewed by Pedro Feliciano, who didn’t pitch at all in the last two seasons, but an injury is an injury. On the other side of the coin, no team has done a better job of keeping its players healthy than the White Sox. That’s not an accident — Chicago’s south-siders have long been considered to have the best training staff in the game and it shows in the injury data.

Obviously some percentage of keeping players healthy is pure luck — you can do everything right and a player may still get hurt, it happens — but not all of it. The Yankees do have an older roster and while older players may not necessarily get hurt more often than younger players, they do tend to take longer to recover. Some of the injury blame likely falls on the training staff as well, especially with regards to pitching. The Yankees have been just awful at keeping pitchers healthy in recent years, both young and old. Health is a skill and these days it’s not just about having the best players, but keeping them on the field as well. The Yankees need to figure out how to cut down on the injuries going forward.

Cashman says he's not planning to trade A-Rod
Breaking even on an A-Rod trade
  • jon

    Id like to see just 2012, living up in maine all i hear is how the red sox arnt good because of players getting hurt

  • OldYanksFan


    Really, I’d love to see that data broken into 2 different categories.
    Injuries and Accidents.

    Obviously, as we age and lose muscle mass, we are more prone to injury. However, while 35 and up is considered old for a ballplayer, it really isn’t that old.

    When a flying broken bat hits Joba in the elbow, I can’t consider that an ‘age related’ injury.

    Same for Andy’s leg. Yeah… if Andy is ‘younger’, does his leg bone hold up batter? Maybe I guess, but I still call that pure ACCIDENT. I can’t point to age on that one.

    Also… of the real injuries, how many were by ‘under 25′ year olds,’26 – 34’ year olds and ‘over 35’ year olds. Not saying we don’t have an old team, but if you want to make some correlation to age, we need better and more segregated data.

    • JLC 776

      This was my first thought as well. The Yankees had a lot of freak accidents this year and several of them just happened to be to the older veterans. Then, just to be more than a little ironic, the ‘conditioning’ related injuries seemed to impact the younger players more than the old.

    • David

      OMG- even the Yankee’s injury data is broken down more than other teams. :-)
      Seriously, I’d like to see the data separated like that too.
      I wonder if it would be relevant, but as you age, your reflexes get slower, if Andy were five or ten years younger, would he have been able to have moved out of the way enough to avoid that injury- if he’d moved his leg even one inch, it probably wouldn’t have been broken.

    • Magilla Gorilla Mama Called me Roy tho

      We have Feliciano and Mariano. Not sure whether Mariano was an injury or accident.

      Pettitte, Pineda and Gardner contributed mightily to the numbers.

      Time off by Teixeira and Rodriguez seems very normal.

      I think the whole study proves nothing. The only injury of the guys I mentioned that was an injury waiting to happen due to years of work was Feliciano.

      Nowadays, it is almost taken for granted that by the time young pitchers reach the majors they will have taken time off for TJS

  • Eddard

    Geno retiring had a lot to do with that. You think of all those great teams Geno had healthy and ready to go all those years. Biggest loss the Yankees have suffered since the release of Hideki and Johnny.

    • JohnnyC

      Geno’s absence might be the reason behind the excess of injuries on the major league squad but what explains the surfeit of injuries, especially to pitchers, at the minor league level?

  • Jack

    There is news that the Japanese high schooler who throws 100 is going into the mlb international draft. I say we blow all our money on him and pay the consequences next year. This guy might be worth it. But with the way we have been cheap i doubt it happens. the dodgers mariners or texas probably blow their budget to sign him while we sit on out hands.

    • JohnnyC

      A)There is no international draft in MLB B) Latest reports have him staying in Japan due to his parents insistence C)Every team now has a spending limit on international free agents, meaning an NPB team can offer him more money than any MLB team.

      • bpdelia

        well the limit is on signing bonus. there’s nothing to stop you blowing the bigger giving him a two year major league contract and structuring massive option years. it wouldn’t be smart but there are still ways to get creative.

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

        As for B, there’s an article up on ESPN right now saying he’s opting towards coming to the U.S. to play major league ball.

      • mj
      • G

        Smarter for him to stay over there too. Can get paid big (for NPB) and is less likely to flame out over there. Anyone with an 100 MPH fastball will probably overpower NPB hitters, and when he does he’ll get a nice payday through the posting system.

        Smart move by his parents, even of it sounds tempting to come over here.

    • Magilla Gorilla Mama Called me Roy tho

      the posting fee is not included in the salary cap.

      • G

        How’s this relevant… If he comes over now, there’s no posting few. If he played in the NPB first as I suggested, the yes there’s be a posting fee, but no one mentioned a thing about the fee.

  • Jersey Joe

    Kinda unrelated to topic, but here is what I want in 2013.

    1. Gardner CF – Grandy is no CF anymore
    2. Jeter SS/DH – Crossing fingers for .290+ BA
    3. Cano 2B
    4. Teixeira 1B – Again, we have limited options
    5. Rodriguez 3B/DH – I like the idea of trading him, but not finding replacements
    6. Granderson LF – I REALLY wanted Swisher back and just decline Grandy’s option. Alas
    7. Martin C – No other choice, but he’s solid enough
    8. Seth Smith/Speedy Righty Hitter RF – With Chris Young on A’s, i think Smith is going to be pushed out of OAK. Short porch can help him as a pull hitter. I think a player with opposite skills could help: maybe Ronnie Musteiler or even Darnell McDonald; we just have a need for speed if our SB leader has 14.
    9. Jayson Nix 3B/SS – Darnell McDonald? OF spot-starter – Eric Chavez or Raul Ibanez for power bench bat/Backup first base – Chris Stewart backup catcher

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

      I think you’re pretty close. It’s gonna be almost the same team that finished this season simply because the Yankees don’t have many options to improve this club and the reasons are partly financial, partly due to their barren upper level farm system and partly due to a lack of tradable assets.

  • Davud (AKA Brien Taylor’s torn labrum)

    Great post.

    -“That’s not an accident — Chicago’s south-siders have long been considered to have the best training staff in the game and it shows in the injury data.”

    If I’m part of the Yankee braintrust and I came to the same conclusion, that would infuriate me. Why don’t the yankees have the best trainers? They sure as s**t pay out the most $$ in player salary, it behooves them to make the relative pittance in investment dollars to procure the best training staff in the business and keep that investment on the playing field as much as humanly possible.

    This means either the people in the org responsible for hiring such people aren’t capable of selecting the best ones, and/or the Yanks are being penny wise and pound foolish and skimping in this department.

    Either way, not a real good reflection on the Yankee organization as a whole.

    • OldYanksFan

      Look… there is still a ton of randomness in both the Yankees and Chicago sample, so don’t draw absolute conclusions.

      My guess is there is not a lot of Nutrition counseling/adhesion in MLB.
      My guess is they don’t use regular chiropractic or accupressure.
      My guess is there is very little yoga practice in MLB.

      Look at a male ballet dancer or a yoga master.
      These guys are in shape.

      The is A LOT more to keeping someone in MLB playing shape then ‘strength and conditioning’.

      Also, my guess is these guys spend WAY to much time pumping iron.
      Believe it of not, there is a reason the ‘old timers’ never lifted weights.

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

    If the Yankee training staff is really partly to blame, shame on Cashman for not having the best, most state of the art training and strength and conditioning program in place. That’s a problem that should be easily fixable by by just hiring the right people. It’s not like the Yankees don’t have the revenue.

    • http://twitter/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

      Easily fixable by just hiring the right people… who are?

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

        That’s your retort?


        How about recruiting someone from the White Sox staff or reaching out to the Phoenix Suns who also have a renound training program just for starters.

  • Austin Aunelowitzky

    So Jeter will wind up on a swimming pool fitness program all winter. Maybe a blessing in disguise.

    • Scheister

      Agreed. Works all the muscles and less strain on aging joints and bones.

  • Brian S.

    Fire our training staff then.

  • Laz

    Whats in the water in Chicago?

    Seems like it could have something to do with timezones?
    Eastern: 1,2,3,6,9,10,11,14,17,21,27
    Central: 13,15,16,18,19,20,23,24,25,29,30
    Mountain: 8
    West: 4,5,7,12,22,26,28

    Just seems odd that central has same # teams as eastern time, yet their highest is only 13. Maybe the extreme change of schedules from the coast has something to do with it. Would have thought spring/fall weather would have more off effect, but really doesn’t look like it would have much correlation.

  • Giancarlo Stanton 2017

    Seattle knows.

  • FreeAgentID

    I agree Mike.
    Keep well Yankees!