2013 Yankees Injury Data

McCullough: Yankees showed little interest in Carlos Ruiz
Report: Yankees on verge of deal with McCann

As you know, the Yankees lost a frickin’ ton of players to injury this past season. Important players too. Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter missed essentially the entire year, Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson both missed over 100 games, Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner missed huge chunks of time … on and on it goes. Never-ending, it seems.

Jeff Zimmerman at FanGraphs posted injury data for 2013 and, believe it or not, the Yankees did not lose the most days to injury this year. They did lead baseball with 28 DL stints, but their 1,496 days lost trailed both the Marlins (1,538) and Braves (1,536). The Royals only lost 461 days to injury this past season. Must be nice.

Of course, tons of injuries are nothing new for the Yankees. This chart really drives home the point:

That’s an average of 1,200 (!) or so days lost to injury over a four-year period. Obviously some percentage of the injury pie is just plain ol’ luck. Curtis Granderson having not one, but two bones broken by pitches this summer was bad luck. Andy Pettitte having his leg broken by a hard-hit ground ball last year was bad luck. It happens. The non-luck portion has to do with things like the team’s injury prevention strategies, the training staff, the age of the roster, etc. Age is definitely a factor — older players tend to get beat up a little bit more and they take longer to heal. The Yankees have an older roster by design and they have to deal with the injury consequences, that’s all. They make their own bed.

Health is something of a market inefficiency these days. It’s not just about who has the best players anymore. It’s about who has the best players and keeps them on the field the longest. A huge part of Robinson Cano‘s value is his durability. He’s not just a brilliant hitter and an excellent defensive player, but he plays every single day. Since he broke into the league in 2005, only Ichiro Suzuki, Miguel Cabrera, and Michael Young have played more games. Over the last five years, only Prince Fielder has played more. He’s amazing. The Yankees have struggled with injuries over the last few seasons and when it happens year after year, it’s not really a coincidence. Some teams have a knack for keeping players healthy, but New York is definitely not one of them.

McCullough: Yankees showed little interest in Carlos Ruiz
Report: Yankees on verge of deal with McCann
  • Bavarian Yankee

    tbh I’m surprised that the Yanks don’t lead the 2013 DL days by a mile. 1500 days basically means losing 9 players for an entire season! I guess guys on the 40 man like Banuelos count too? Otherwise it would be hard to believe that teams actually can pile up that many DL days.

  • forensic

    Well, they didn’t lead in overall days, but at least the Yankees’ hitters were way better at getting hurt than any other teams.

    In the article, he says the Royals didn’t have a single pitcher hit the DL once the season started. That’s kind of insane.

  • ropeadope

    If I’m interpreting the chart correctly, Yankee hitters lost the most days due to injuries by a large margin (with only the Marlins within shouting distance). In fact, Yankee hitters had more injury days than the combined injury days of hitters and pitchers for at least 19 other teams.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Looks about right to me.

      A few narratives busted here anyway, though.

  • Meet Me by the Bat

    Why keep harping on the excuses? It’s lame. The Red Sox are third on that list and just won a title.

    The Yankees will be mediocre for another few years. It’s not that they are old or get hurt. It’s those things have been coming for a long time and they have done nothing about it. In fact, they just keep signing the same trash.

    • jjyank

      What? The Red Sox were third on the list that included the last 4 years. 3 of which, they didn’t even make the playoffs. They were a much more manageable 11th place in the year that they won a title. That’s some really faulty logic right there.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        You’re harping on excuses. Everything is awful.

        Like Robert Smith said at the start of the “Pornography” album, it doesn’t matter if we all die.

    • TWTR

      Why do you think it’s an excuse? Some of their players are older (Jeter and A-Rod, for example) and are more likely to break down or heal a little more slowly. Others like Tex and Granderson were likely the victims of bad luck, although Tex seems to get injured more and more.

      Either way, it excuses nothing. Like virtually everything else in life, it just is.

      Now, a great farm system helps mitigate against injuries, but that’s a topic for another thread.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’m sure Mike’s job would be a lot easier if every post he upped only said “Everything is bad. Life sucks.”

      • jjyank

        Life’s a bitch and then ya die
        That’s why we get high
        Because ya never know
        When you’re gonna go

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Or we could have just gone with “Illmatic.”

          Still probably too dated for half the whiners.

          Who needs stats and looking deeper at shit? It’s just so much better when you just put a huge blanket on it, pick someone you’ve heard of in the organization, and say they failed. Or just Cashman. Don’t even need to think for that long.

          • jjyank

            R-Tils…that was Illmatic :D

            • Robinson Tilapia

              I know. I was responding to my choosing to go with The Cure above.

        • Lukaszek

          All around me are familiar faces
          Worn out places
          Worn out faces
          Bright and early for their daily races
          Going nowhere, going nowhere

          • Robinson Tilapia

            The great Roland Orzabal, everyone.

            I actually saw their reunion tour a few years ago. Sounded fantastic.

  • Kevin Ocala, Fl

    Mike, I have to disagree with part of your injury analysis. A big part has to be that the Yankees have fielded an “older” team now for almost 15 years. That is most likely the biggest factor…..

    • Robinson Tilapia

      The Yankees have fielded a veteran team for much longer than 15 years. There were PLENTY of veterans on the dynasty teams. This wasn’t the Core Four carrying everyone on their backs.

      • radnom


        The facts don’t really agree with you. Even the last “dynasty team” was significantly younger than the team we have now. Especially on the offensive side.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          Not really.
          2013 weighted avg. Yankees batting age: 31.8
          2000 Yankees: 31.3
          2013 weighted avg. Yankees pitching age: 31.8
          2000 Yankees: 32

          2013 is a bit skewed by older regulars missing a lot of time, but still, there isn’t much difference.


          • radnom

            I was focusing on the starting nine – the bench is filled with old guys on both teams.

            Not to mention that this is at the very end of the dynasty.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              They definitely need some younger impact players.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Look at ’98 and ’99, though. Even BRef has Chili and Strawberry as the starters.

              We wrote our thoughts on the bench at the same time.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Thanks for doing the math I wasn’t going to do.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              No math.
              Just copied BRef-s weighted ages from the link.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Good enough for me. We’ll call that math.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          There’s no doubt in my mind those teams were younger. They were still veteran teams. Look at the age of the bench. Also, begin to look back before 2000 and you’re going to see some veteran starters and role players playing significant roles.

          The New York Yankees will, more often than not, field a veteran team. That’s the price of trying to contend every year.

        • Lukaszek

          @2000 team

          Sep 15: 1-11 vs Cleveland
          Sep 17: 4-15 vs Cleveland
          Sep 19: 3-16 vs Toronto
          Sep 25: 4-15 vs Detroit
          Sep 27: 1-11 vs Tampa
          Sep 28: 3-11 vs Tampa
          Sep 29: 2-13 vs Baltimore
          Sep 30: 1-9 vs Baltimore

          What. The. Fuck?

      • Kevin Ocala, Fl

        “Much longer than 15 years”? That brings us to ’98. Their first WS ring was in ’96. But then, they’ve fielded an “older” ballclub since Steinbrenner bought the team. So in a sense, you are correct…

  • klaus

    I’d like to see the 4-year data on a scatter chart against team average age.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      A scatter chart crossed my mind.

  • Kevin Ocala, Fl

    Actually we need a “mean” average v. just a regular “average”. The outliers, often role players skew the age data, I’m quite sure. Fifteen years ago, all the up the middle players were in fact young. The third baseman of the “Dynasty” years were “old”. As were most of the starters. They were a very athletic team, all in all………