My Thoughts on the 2019 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Injury Panels

By Dr. Ankur Verma


MIT Sloan Sports Analytics 2019 injury panel

As I have done every year since 2013, I made my way to Boston in late February/early March for the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.  Over time, given my background, I’ve increasingly paid attention to the health/injury panels at the conference.  While I am interested in all aspects of sports analytics, including player performance, drafting, and the like, I have found myself dabbling in the injury side of things as, to this point, it matches my knowledge and training.

The major injury panel this year was called “The Performance/Precaution Tradeoff: Player Health”.  I was intrigued by the name of the panel as it was suggestive of some of the hot topics that dominate injury conversation today.  At what point should a player be rested to prevent him/her from entering a “danger zone” of increased risk of injury?  When is it better to play a back-up for an injured player? 70% health?  60% health?  And how does some of the new data being collected infringe upon privacy rights?

These were just some of the things that popped in my head.  Did the panel play out the way I expected or did it bring up other topics I hadn’t considered?

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2018 MLB Draft Mega Injury Preview

By Dr. Ankur Verma


Credit: slgckgc on Flickr.

The MLB draft is on Monday June 4 this year.  As a draft junkie, it’s appointment television for me.  But for the MLB draft in particular, I’ve always been fascinated by the proceedings.  Teams can’t trade draft picks and many times picks are made for signability issues due to each team having a certain spending cap.  So it’s just fun to watch it unfold.  And, of course, there is always injury drama.

I decided to go through the top 32 players on ESPN’s Keith Law’s 2018 Big Board (as of May 24, 2018) and highlight a few prospects that have potential injury questions.  As always, we’re not privy to medical information and considering these are college and high-school baseball players, have even less to go on.

Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn (Law Big Board Rank: 1)

Casey Mize. (Credit: Brandonrush).

The presumptive Number 1 overall pick of the 2018 draft brings an interesting debate to the table.  One of the reasons Continue reading