I figured it was time to go beyond the anecdotal and look at the actual numbers on this. So after reviewing the game logs and news reports, here's what I've come up with. In 110 games this year, Manny's had a full deck of 25 guys available just 50 times, or 45% of the games played. He had 24 available 40 times, 23 available 28 times, and 22 available twice.
I have nothing to compare this to, and obviously some of this is unavoidable (like when Cordero turned out to be unavailable on Opening Night), but playing short-handed 55% of the time seems like an outrageously high number to me. Most of these short-handed games were totally avoidable, when a player was clearly known to be unavailable for several days or even weeks and Bowden just didn't make a move for no apparent reason. And with Zimmerman, Dukes, and Guzman all hurt and not headed to the DL, these numbers are likely to get even worse over the next few days.
And although being healthy would seem to coincide with having a better team on the field in general, there's evidence that being short-handed has cost us wins as well:
- In games when we are at less than 25 players available, we have a .350 winning percentage, compared with .380 at full strength.
- With 24 available we're a .350 team.
- With 23 available we fall all the way to .333.
- We split our two games with 22 available, 1-1.
If you want to check my work or help make sure this is complete or if you're just interested in picking through the wreckage, you can download the full spreadsheet here (this link will only be active for a week, after that if you are looking for this email me). As far as I know, there's no place that this is tracked, so if anyone has a smarter way to do this than just skimming the WaPo blog and Sporting News game logs, let me know. Or don't--since I've already done it the hard way ya bastard--no, still tell me. :)
Of course, I'm not even factoring in the time when we had four catchers and basically one roster spot was wasted or the time we wasted carrying a LOOGY in a bullpen that couldn't afford to use a Ray King to just face lefties. I'm just looking at injuries.
Some other details on how I did this: when Perez and Hill were on the active roster hurt, I only counted them as unavailable on the days they were scheduled to start. For Guzman this week, I counted him as unavailable, because he's been available only to play defense and pinch run. I didn't count games where guys got hurt mid-game, but I did count late scratches.
- Update: based on this morning's Post, Zimmy, Dukes, and Guzman won't be available for a while. The story says they'll all be back "by the end of the week." So let's say they are all back Friday, but none sooner. That would mean that in 114 games this year, Manny will have had a full deck of 25 guys available still just 50 times, or 43% of the games played--24 available 40 times, 23 available 28 times, and just 22 available six times. We'll see if they can maintain that scorching .500 winning percentage when playing with a two-man bench.