For several years now Will Carroll has published Team Health Reports. He previously did so at Baseball Prospectus and now does so at SI. I've never been the biggest fan. It seems far too random. Let's take a look at this year's.
2B Darwin Barney
Darwin Barney doesn't sound like a 2B, but he sure played like one last year. In fact, the Wall Street firm of Darwin Barney, Starlin & Castro should be what the accounting firm of Epstein, Hoyer & McCloud build around.
Aside from Phil Rogers, I'm not sure anyone else has said seriously that the Cubs should consider building around Darwin Barney. If a team is going to build around someone whose upside is a league average player then they're probably going to be pretty bad.
SS Starlin Castro
Castro thrived with the increased workload in '11. He's still young for the position and is just shy of yellow because of concerns about what even a minor leg injury could do to his game.
A leg injury can fuck up a lot of careers. Why would a potential minor leg injury even be considered? Are we going to consider a possible broken wrist for power hitters? What about the possibility of terminal cancer? What's the point?
P2 Ryan Dempster
The Angels point to Ryan Dempster when they're asked about C.J. Wilson and his big contract. The career paths aren't identical, but with these results, it's surprising more teams don't at least try it. Then again, there was Andrew Cashner.
If you focus on two of the most successful at converting to the rotation it will always look good. I'm sure there's been a few successful transitions of players moving from 3rd base to SS too. Then again, there was John Smoltz.
C Geovany Soto
Soto's had the normal, nagging injuries that catchers have without having the devastating ones that too many do. He's never lived up to his rookie breakout, but he's a solid catcher who still has some upside. He gets a Red rating if the Cubs suddenly expose him to 140-plus games, but the dings tend to keep him from that.
So a catcher who plays more games has an increased chance of injury. If I drive across the country I have a greater chance of injury than if I drive around the block. I don't know what Soto's chance of injury is, but I do know it's higher if he plays 141 games than if he plays 140 of them. The least chance of injury for him on a baseball field would be to play 0. The chance of injury increases with each additional game above that.
CF Marlon Byrd
Byrd's yellow rating isn't a good one. His playing time was down last year because the franchise was looking at options. Actually, Byrd's work with Victor Conte — yes, that one — have kept him mostly healthy during his time in Chicago. He's a trade candidate if he can have a good April and May.
He's right. The Cubs were looking at options last year in CF. What are the options for the type of helmet that Byrd can wear after he comes back from getting drilled in the fucking face? That's why his playing time was down. Not because the Cubs were looking at options.
RF David DeJesus
DeJesus was always compared to his predecessor, Johnny Damon. It's valid until you get to the injuries. DeJesus was always dealing with something while Damon was among the healthiest players in the game. That difference is why Damon's getting some debate in the Hall of Fame discussions and DeJesus is a placeholder for the Cubs.
Yep. The difference between Damon, a possible Hall of Fame career and DeJesus is nothing but injuries.
SP Randy Wells
Forearm problems augur elbow issues. Velocity loss tends to predict shoulder issues. Control problems point to elbow issues. Stamina problems tend to go hand in hand with shoulder issues. What happens when you have all of them? You warm up Travis Wood and Jim Andrews.
The toe bone connected to the heel bone,
The heel bone connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the head bone
CL Carlos Marmol
Marmol showed some fatigue and velocity issues in the second half. Given his long standing mechanical issues — or should I say, alleged issues, since we really don't know if they're bad, but they sure don't look good — it's reasonable to think that the velocity loss is predictive. Managing Marmol isn't just going to be a medical issue and might give us a lot of insight on Chris Bosio, the Cubs new pitching coach.
I expect managing Marmol will provide us as much information about Bosio as it did the previous pitching coaches Marmol has had.