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Chat: Will Carroll

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday August 11, 2009 1:00 PM ET chat session with Will Carroll.


Check in with Will Carroll to talk about what's getting said around the game, what's going on out on the field, and what's happening in trainer's rooms and on surgeon's tables nationwide.

Will Carroll: Right now, I've got two men, two men with a gut full of fear. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... chattin' time's here!

PJ (Montreal): Hey Will, now's a good time for a not-to-shameless Puck Prospectus plug! What can we expect from your team to prepare for the upcoming NHL season? Thanks as always!

Will Carroll: This is a good time. We're at work on an extended preview, helping with ESPN's season preview in the magazine and online editions, and we'll be unveiling VUKOTA, our projection system. Lots of exciting things over there from a group of writers who have quickly become the best in the business.

Charlie (Bethesda): Oh boy, Tommy John surgery. Now who will be the third best starter on the Nats in 2010?

Will Carroll: You're referring to Jordan Zimmermann, who's getting an 18-month timetable (no, I don't know why - seems ultraconservative unless there's another issue.) I guess we have to assume the Nats will have Strasburg ... then Lannan. Maybe Detwiler? McGeary won't be up quickly. Maybe the guy they got for Nick Johnson?

J.P. (Hartford): A question about Carlos Delgado, whose injury has kind of been lost in the shuffle of Mets injuries, is he coming back this year, and is he worth taking a flyer on resigning to an incentive-laden one year deal given the lack of big bats available in free agency? When he was healthy, he hit.

Will Carroll: He should be back in September. There's no reason to rush him now and he will be auditioning for that kind of contract. With Beltran's uncertainty, I doubt the Mets will re-sign Delgado quickly, though there's probably a number where it would make sense. Delgado should come back from the hip well, though we've only had successes with the FAIL operation so far.

ysuindy (Fishers): Will - really enjoyed the Tweetup last night. Never went to a baseball game and saw so few pitches. My son (in the Kinsler jersey) had a blast as well - he liked Peter, but enjoyed talking baseball with you more. Best $9 I spent in a long time. No real question, but just a plug for anyone who can get to any BP event in the future to do so.

Will Carroll: It was a great time. More football than baseball, but people were there to see the Hall of Famer. Big crowd, three hours of chatting sports ... what more can you want?

dandaman (Martha's Vineyard): Will, thanks for the chat. It seems like every time there's a surgery we quickly hear that "it was a success" or "the surgery went well". How often do you ever hear of surgeries not going well? Just wondering.

Will Carroll: Very seldom. The fact is most surgery does go well - these are well trained physicians with a plan doing something they've done hundreds or thousands of times. It seems like there's a lot of surgery in baseball, but 1000? If we had a failure rate of 1 per 1000, that'd be pretty good ... unless you were the one.

Dan (Chicago): What's going on with Jake Peavy? Will he need to make all 3 minor league rehab starts, or do you think he will be ready after 2?

Will Carroll: That's a really good question. I think we'll know a lot more after the first one - is he comfortable? are the mechanics ok or is the ankle throwing things off? where's the stamina? I think it could be all three, but the Sox are very flexible and aggressive.

BigSteve (St. Louis): Apparently Adam Wainwright uses a lot less warm up pitches than the average pitcher to get ready each inning. This is why LaRussa pushes him harder than his other starters. Is this a sound strategy? Are warm up pitches nearly as taxing on the arm as actual pitches?

Will Carroll: Many years ago, Frank Jobe determined that the muscles and bones take the load up to 75% of max effort, then the load is transferred to tendons and ligaments. The question is, does throwing less warm ups have any trade off and any significant effect on his fatigue level. It all comes down to fatigue level. I've always been curious why a pitcher wouldn't get a massage between innings.

Bill (New Mexico): Without naming names, what fraction of uses of the 15-day disabled list would you judge to be "abuses" of the list -- parking guys there who really aren't disabled, either physically or mentally, just ineffective or inconvenient?

Will Carroll: Very small percentage. 2%?

Mike (Chicago): So who got hurt on the Cubs yesterday? Oh, just another SP...The way this team is going, you could write a daily UTK column for one team...

Will Carroll: Mets fans say hi.

mwball75 (Cincinnati, OH): You tweeted about Josh Hamilton's night of binging and how it didn't violate something, maybe a drug policy or something... I didn't quite understand, what did you think he may have been in violation of?

Will Carroll: He's in an aftercare program, which is basically enhanced testing plus some other conditions agreed to between Hamilton and the Rangers. Alcohol is not a banned substance, so while he may have negotiated consequences with the team, it does not affect his standing with MLB. A cocaine positive would trigger a significant penalty on top of a 50-game suspension.

Jon (Tampa): Is Antonio Bryant going to be ok for the regular season? Aside from last year maybe being a fluke year, should Bucs fans be worried?

Will Carroll: Should be, but misses some timing. Not like the Bucs have many options in the passing game. Means good things for Winslow, if he can stay healthy.

Frank (NJ): Billy Wagner is having a good re-hab assignment. Should the Mets get him up ASAP then try to trade him? What does is 2010 and beyond look like for him, injury-wise?

Will Carroll: I don't know why they'd wait, but they could trade him now if they wanted. He should be fine, just older. Post-TJ guys have predictable recoveries and known risks.

dianagramr (NYC): Hi Will ... thanks for the chat as always: Which of these individuals/groups will still be with the Mets at the start of 2010 season: 1) Minaya, 2) Manuel, 3) Any/all members of training staff, 4) Any/all members of strength/conditioning staff

Will Carroll: I think 1 and 3. I know the Mets are doing a complete evalution of why they've had so many injuries this season and while I can't talk much about that, I think they'll find that it was an aberration. Ray Ramirez's stats over his career are solid.

glenihan (nyc): sounds like a silly question, but ... what would a massage between innings accomplish that would be advantageous to a pitcher's health? rather than say a massage after the start?

Will Carroll: I'm saying just the arm ... well, I dont know, maybe more would help. I was suggesting it to help keep it warm, work out some of the tightness and acid.

Dwade (Chicago): Hey Will, do you think Slowey's injury is likely to recur or is this a one-off type of injury?

Will Carroll: Seems an unlikely set of circumstances and traumas, so I'll say unlikely to recur.

BR (NYC): ... and how are you making out in Tout Wars? Any strategic thinking you care to share with us?

Will Carroll: Horribly. The strategy I had melted down and I am the Tout equivalent of the Cleveland Spiders right now. My advice would be - don't think you can outthink a group of professionals. I knew I couldn't beat them at their game, so I tried to play to my strengths and did the equivalent of a Dragon Sicilian. Next year, I'll just try to go at them and see what happens.

fieldofdreams (Chapel Hill, NC): any news on Jed Lowrie?....you say "wrist injuries linger" is this directly related or something else in the kinetic chain?

Will Carroll: No, it's just about healing. It's a complex structure with poor blood flow.

Jon (DC): Question about the massage. Tommy Hearns got a rub down of his legs before his fight against Marvin Hagler. Manny Steward says this made Hearns tired before the fight even started. Does this make sense? Would rubbing the arm between innings cause fatigue?

Will Carroll: Manny's point has always been that Hearns was too relaxed, but watching that fight (the greatest three rounds in history), I don't think "relaxed" plays into it. It was just a slugfest, with Hearns breaking his hand and Hagler at the top of his game. Hagler beat Leonard too.

Dave (NYC): How much of an injury risk (yes, fantasy) is Steven Jackson this year? With an early pick am I better off going with a lower-upside but "safer" player or is S-Jax not SO risky as to do that?

Will Carroll: I really like Jackson in that offense. He's had muscular problems so he's certainly not top 3, but he's top five. Peterson, MJD, Forte, Jackson, Slaton. Yes, I have Peterson as 1, while Football Outsiders has MJD at 1. I just can't take Jones-Drew as the overall 1 when he's never been the feature back. Signs indicate he can handle it, but given that choice, I'll take Peterson.

Nick (St. Louis): Will, thanks for the chat. Is there a timetable for the guide to injuries your working on?

Will Carroll: The Carroll Guide to Sports Injuries will be out this fall. We're doing it the same way as the Football Outsiders Almanac was done, so you can get the PDF or the print-on-demand. It's going to be a great reference for sports fans, but I think it's going to really make a difference if you're a sports parent or coach.

shamah (NYC): Safe to drop Jose Reyes in a non-keeper league?

Will Carroll: Yes.

Stan (Chicago): Jeff Samardzija starts for the cubs tomorrow. Is there another player you dread appearing in UTK more than the golden domer, just from a spell check perspective?

Will Carroll: There was someone recently who was worse ... can't remember. There are some names in EPL that just crush me. I cannot spell Benjani Mwaruwari without double and triple checking.

jeffbay (Tennessee): Any additional details on the Pittsburgh event?

Will Carroll: It's gonna rule? Not sure what you're looking for here. We have some people we hope are coming, but can't say yet because things come up. BP Idol finalist Brian Cartwright's going to be there, which will be cool. I intend to stand behind him and critique how he drinks beer.

Adam (Rochester): When do you think J Upton will be back and how much do you think he may be limited by this injury the rest of the season?

Will Carroll: Simple oblique strain. 20 days?

mwball75 (Cincinnati, OH): Did Jay Bruce break a bone in his wrist or arm? Is there a comp for this one? Will it effect his prodigious pull power?

Will Carroll: Looks like arm. I'm having to read tea leaves on this one, but seems as if it's along the lines of Evan Longoria last year.

Tim (DC): Mike Rizzo stated that 85-88% of players recover to pre-TJ form when discussing Zimmerman. Is that accurate? Does age affect the success rate?

Will Carroll: Ive always heard 90%, but sure. It's more about professionalism. Guys with resources and a big paycheck coming will work harder. A high school kid? He might decide he'd rather just hang out with his friends or that baseball isn't that important.

jedmonds15 (St.Louis): Thanks for the chat Will, Draft question: if a pitcher hits 90 MPH; is that almost an automatic draft pick for some team? If not, what would that velocity number be?

Will Carroll: A high school kid at 90 with a good body and some semblance of a secondary pitch probably will, if RH. Lefties, yeah, I think so, absent some terrible thing on the report. "Plus velocity, avg curve. Skinny but projectable frame. Questions about Satanism and human sacrifice."

jafessenden (boston): Will, Thanks for the chat. What was your impression of WEEI's Dennis and Callahan this week? Will mainstream media folks ever understand the steriods debate?

Will Carroll: Understand, yes. They're thoughtful and at least engage the issue from all sides -- heck, they had ME on -- but they're limited by format. You can't talk about the issue in eight minute radio segments.

JJ (NYC): Will, you have mentioned it on several occasions, but what exactly is your involvement with the EPL, if you are allowed to say? Any chance for a soccer prospectus?

Will Carroll: I'm doing some injury consulting for a team. I changed clubs this off-season, but I'm not allowed to mention who. It's not terribly hard to figure out, esp if you follow me on Twitter.

Soccer Prospectus? Maybe. It's much more likely to end up EPL Prospectus or maybe a Champions League Prospectus, if we get there. There's some overlap between how we measure things in hockey and in soccer, plus with the World Cup this year, there's a chance to push things out.

DS (California): Hi Will, thanks your time. I just traded for Edinson Volquez in my keeper league (I will have his rights for the next 4 years.) Do you think he will make a close to full recovery, and if so, when?

Will Carroll: I think he'll be back pitching normally in 2011.

tonipeluso (oakland): Do you have any predictions on the draft deadline coming up? Do you see all or most of the unsigned first rounders signing? Also I read Boras is Stratsburg attorney not agent, is there any difference in the two roles, or is it just a matter of semantics?

Will Carroll: Advisor, not agent. No, that's much more KG's territory than mine. I do not envy his beat this weekend.

Tim Lincecum (SF): Are you concerned about my workload or am I just a freak of nature?

Will Carroll: I am concerned, but willing to consider that Lincecum might be a freak in absence of other evidence. I think flexibility and avoidance of even minor injuries is key. I'm not sure if he's Luis Tiant, but I like the comp. (What happened to Tiant in 1970, btw?)

JJ (NYC): Thanks Will. Until there is an EPL Prospectus, is there a stats oriented soccer site that you can recommend?

Will Carroll: Avoiding The Drop is a good one, but there's no GREAT ones, even in England. I may have missed some.

dtwhite (Toronto): How do you feel about Felix Hernandez now versus three years ago

Will Carroll: Still very risky, still very very good.

josh (U-chicago): Wouldn't the white sox have been better off keeping Vazquez, not dealing for Peavy, not claiming Rios, moving Alexei to CF and Beckham to SS, using the Rios money to re-sign Dye and pursue Aroldis Chapman to join their Cuban-friendly environment?

Will Carroll: In three years or so, we'll be able to make an intelligent analysis of that. Now? Credit to Kenny Williams for being bold and creative. I wouldn't rule out Chapman anyway. The Sox have a ton of money coming off the books next year.

buffum (Austin TX): Speaking of UCLs, Jake Westbrook sounds like he's had enough of a setback to ruin his 2009: is there official worry that he'll lose some 2010 as well?

Will Carroll: Official? No, but there's some worry when there's setbacks or cascades. I still like Westbrook a lot, but I didn't think he'd injure himself in the first place so take it fwiw.

Have to take a call -- be back asap.

loveablelosers (Ohio): Any reason to think Jose Reyes won't be back at 100% in 2010?

Will Carroll: Lots of reasons. Hamstring injuries go chronic quickly and this is already recurrent.

George (Charlotte): Will, Slaton in your top 5 is mildly surprising. Care to elaborate?

Will Carroll: It's only surprising in that Turner isn't there. Slaton is 6-8 on most draft boards I've seen. I don't like Turner or Tomlinson and I'm not ready to believe in Gore again, so ... Slaton.

Adam (NY): Do you do consulting work for teams?

Will Carroll: I have, yes. I am not currently doing any.

Louis (Houston): Do you expect Lance to be back soon?

Will Carroll: Yes. Trying to find out why he's been pushed back slightly.

FelixPieInTheSky (Toronto): Just a follow up on Stan's comment about the difficulty of Samardzija's name; is Mark Rzepczynski the other tough one you were thinking of?

Will Carroll: THAT's the one.

Drew (DC): I've noticed following the Reds this year that they often list guys day-to-day for a week or two--often playing them sporadically--then finally put them on the DL. Is this type of thing wishful thinking, gross mismanagement, or a way of controlling the 40-man roster, pitching appearances, etc.? I'm looking for some semblance of logic from Jocketty here.

Will Carroll: Go back to Unfiltered and find the equation used for whether or not to put someone on the DL. It's a very simple concept but one I have a hard time articulating.

Midwestern Rube (Ballpark Near You): What's the leadtime needed for organizing a ballpark event at a MLB park? Do we work with BP, or work with the club?

Will Carroll: Couple weeks of advertising. Contact me, I'll tell you what we've done in the past, and then we'll get the team involved. I just won't do the leg work - simply put, I don't have the time. Someday, people will just tell me where to go, how to get there, and we'll talk sports for a couple hours. We're doing one in Memphis, the upcoming Pittsburgh, and I'll have details on Ft Wayne coming up soon.

Chip (Richmond): Will, If you were given the freedom to implement a total throwing/pitching program for an entire organization, can you give us some of the details of what your program would entail? Personally, I like what the Rangers are doing, but I was wondering what you would do, and if you'd do anything differently.

Will Carroll: I'd focus on the logical, progressive development pattern. Very simple for anyone to understand, easily monitored. Then I'd have all my pitchers heading to Glenn Fleisig for baselines. I'd need to bring in my own team doctor and Trainers. Whole thing in a box for under 250k over what teams are already spending.

Travis (San Diego): Any update on Ben Sheets? Is he worth the risk for 2010?

Will Carroll: No update, not throwing yet. Once he does, we'll know more.

ericturner29 (Chicago): Will, The Indians say they're keeping LaPorta down because they need a 4th OF who can play CF because of Sizemore's elbow. If the elbow is this big of a potential problem, wouldn't they be better off having Grady get the surgery now (since the season is lost anyway)?

Will Carroll: No, he just needs offdays and having it now isn't any appreciable gain in time. He's not going to hurt himself worse and he'll be ready well before Spring Training. As for LaPorta, he hasn't forced the team to make any of the hard decisions yet.

Jarrod Parker (AZ): If I have TJ surgery would you drop me even in longtern keepers/dynasty leagues?

Will Carroll: No.

Dan (NJ): Will Mark prior ever throw a pitch in the Major Leagues again?

Will Carroll: No.

Rob (Houston): Is there any way to predict what kind of numbers Vick would put up after two years away?

Will Carroll: No.

Eric J (SF): In all seriousness would liposuction be good for someone like Pablo Sandovalís career? Im not so much worried about this or next season; more to helping those knees hold up 10+ years.

Will Carroll: How about just a diet? Or a Wii Fit?

Matt A (Raleigh): With Hudson starting his rehab assignments, when do you see him back on the Atlanta roster? Who moves to the 'pen? Would Hanson's innings be a factor if you were making the decision?

Will Carroll: September 1 and yes, I'd limit Hanson or at least give him extra time off. Same with Kawakami.

ericmilburn (San Francisco): Speaking of Chapman, can you comment on his delivery, mechanics, and injury risk at all? The hype machine is in full swing, but there seems to be little outside of the 102 mph rumors to go on. Can you add anything Will?

Will Carroll: Havent seen him pitch aside from the ESPN piece. Looked good, but need a lot more.

Will Carroll: Thanks - lots of radio to do today, but thanks for all the questions. UTK back tomorrow. @Twinjuries starting August 15th.

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