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Using Spray Charts to Examine Wrist Injuries

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Last season Sky pointed out in this Fanshot that David Ortiz was not able to drive the ball due to his wrist injury. I have gone back and look at the entire year and also at Edwin Encarnacion who had a wrist injury recently to see if there was any improvement.

David Ortiz

Here is David Ortiz's (left handed hitter) hitting spray chart before the injury (2008):

2008

David hits well to all fields, but has most of his home runs group in right field. Now here is the spray chart for the first 2 months of 2009:

4_1_5_31_09

He was only able to get hits to left field and almost no balls were going for home runs. Now looking at the next two months, he seemed to be able to get around on the ball and drive the ball again to right field.

6_1_7_31_09

Finally a spray chart of the the last 2 months:

8_1_10_1

The distribution look more like the previous year. It seemed with David, it took a couple of months to get his wrist in position to drive the ball again.


Edwin Encarnacion

On April 28th 2009, Edwin (right handed hitter) was also put on the DL with a wrist injury. First, here is his spray chart from 2008:

Edwin2008

The majority of his hits were to center and left field with all the long balls being to left field. Now here is a look at about the first 2 months after coming of the DL:

Edmwinjulyandaugust

Edwin was still hitting some long balls to left field, but there were a couple hit to center also. The previous season, non were hit there. Here is a chart for the rest of the season:

Edwin2009sepoct

Not the same pull power to left, with some balls going to center field. Edwin in 2009 was not able to be back to his 2008 self. 

Our own Dan pointed out that wrist injuries do lead to some loss in power.  Two players in not a great sample size, but if you know a player coming back from wrist surgery, you may want to track their spray charts to see if/when they are back 100%.


Thanks to texasleaguers.com for the spray charts.