Padres Injuries: Who's to blame?

More Bad News

Bill Center has the latest on Padres pitching injuries and none of the news is good. Unless you count Tim Stauffer getting closer to throwing a bullpen session as good news. I just consider that bad news that hasn't turned worse.

Speaking of bad news that turned worse... Bud Black said yesterday that Joe Wieland who's been on the 60 day DL since early May, may need Tommy John surgery. His elbow will be looked at by the team surgeon in the near future.

Andrew Cashner, who throws 100 mph is driving in rehabs slow lane and won't arrive at his destination in the MLB until mid-August at the earliest. Anthony Bass is still feeling "irritation" in his arm and there's no word on how long until he'll be back.

Do the Trainers deserve Credit or Blame?

A few days ago I was reading Craig Elsten's blog post about injuries and the trainers. He thinks the trainers are the MVP's of the first half. He's aware that you and I might find this ludicrous.

Padres MVP? Try the Trainers- Craig Elsten

The Padres as an organization need to take a hard look at the way they are handling their players and pitchers up and down the organization, and ask a lot of questions about why so many players are getting injured. None of those questions, however, have to focus on the quality of the training staff. Nobody has been asked to do more in 2012 and nobody has responded more quietly and tirelessly.

I'm not sure how the training staff can be considered as team MVP unless they are preventing injuries and that certainly is not happening. Unless of course there's some way to definitively say that the training staff prevented healthy players from becoming injured.

They're not even shortening injured player's time in rehab either as far as I can tell, with the possible exceptions of Carlos Quentin and Huston Street, who are really the only players who have come off the DL. But you'd have to expect that at least a few players would heal with or without the help of the training staff. I'm not sure you can say that they have had any affect on the season at all, unless of course trainers are responsible for making sure that players don't get injured in the first place. Then they have not been performing well.

I'm sure these guys are showing up to work on time and giving it their all, but baseball is a results oriented game. What results can the training staff possibly show that could warrant them a first half MVP award? Maybe this insane number of injuries are just a result of bad luck, but then why commend the training staff? If they didn't prevent injury or return players to the field faster than normal how does that make them most valuable?

If you wanted to give them the hardest working staff member award then I've got no problem with that. I'm sure they have been kept busy. But most valuable? No.

What are the Padres doing about the problem?

GM Josh Byrnes said recently on XX1090 that the team is really frustrated by all the injuries and they are looking into a number of causes. They've looked at possible reasons including age, work load, delivery, arm action, volume of breaking balls, background work, strength conditioning and how they treat guys that have symptoms.

What should they be doing?

XX Sports Radio: Will Carroll interview with Craig Elsten (MP3)

Elsten's interview with Will Carroll is very informative. Will is the "Injury Expert". He asks, if teams weren't use to doing things they way they do, how would they do them differently? Small changes like plastic shin and hand guards could save teams millions of dollars.

Carroll says the problem with the Padres is that they were relying on young inexperienced pitchers to go deep into the season. They had a very risky roster from the start. "It was very unlikely that it was all going to work."

The training staff may not be to blame because they don't have enough information. The Padres are one of the 28 teams that do not have bio-mechanical data on their players. Boston has their own lab and the Brewers review every pitcher that comes into the organization. The Padres have no excuse not to collect this data because San Diego has a bio-mechanical lab at Children's Hospital. Yet they don't know how much pressure each pitcher is putting on his arm. Carroll is saying it's unthinkable that they wouldn't invest in that data.


San Diego Padres Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Anthony Bass shoulder 06/21/2012
Andrew Cashner other-excused 07/04/2012
Dustin Moseley shoulder 04/08/2012
Eric Stults other-excused 06/04/2012

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kyle Blanks shoulder 04/14/2012
Micah Owings forearm 04/26/2012
Cory Luebke elbow 04/28/2012
Joe Wieland elbow 05/07/2012
James Darnell shoulder 05/18/2012
Tim Stauffer elbow 05/18/2012
Jason Bartlett knee 05/15/2012
Jeremy Hermida sports-hernia 04/27/2012


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