In 2004, after 24 years of playing my SP78 season, I finally got tired of following the mandates of the Statis Pro Player Injury Chart, which ridiculously did not allow for injuries to pitchers, and put together a chart of my own which did permit such occurrences. After poring over all 26 team-issued media guides from 1978, I made note of every pitcher injury suffered the previous year, and how long each pitcher had been out of action, and put together a table made up of eight ‘levels’, with each level featuring six different injury scenarios from the guides. An 8-sided dice roll determined the ‘severity of injury’ level, while a 6-sided dice roll determined injury type.
My system was purely random, however, and all results were dependent on the whims of the dice. Royals reliever Al Hrabosky, known as ‘The Mad Hungarian’, was the first pitcher stricken, when he suffered an entrapped nerve in his shoulder while pitching against the Brewers on July 13th. He was placed on the 30-day disabled list the following day, and was due to return to action on August 14th.
What I failed to remember was that Statis Pro player injuries were based on number of games played during the 1978 season, and not an arbitrary toss of the dice. When Boston’s Dennis Eckersley was lost for 45 days at the end of July, basically ending his season, I saw he still had 21 starts remaining, based on his true 1978 start total. It was then that I realized my mistake; what I needed to do was to make a pitcher’s ‘games lost to injury’ relative to the number of appearances he’d made during the 1978 season. For example, a pitcher who had 40 starts in ’78, and pitched every fourth day of the 162-game season, should not miss any games due to injury (40 x 4 = 160), while a reliever who appeared in just five games might miss any number of games up to my self-imposed limit, the 60-day disabled list.
So while retaining the same 8-level injury system, I now have each level broken down by total number of appearances in 1978, a much more logical method when compared to what I’d created previously. And to mess with the SP78 universe once again, several pitchers who were still on various disabled lists found their stays adjusted accordingly: Mike Krukow moved from the 30-day to the 21-day DL, Steve Renko from the 21-day to the 15-day, and in the biggest jump, the aforementioned Eckersley from the 45-day DL to just five days missed. Unfortunately for Chisox spot starter Jack Kucek, his relatively short visit to the 15-day disabled list was re-calculated to 45 days, thus possibly ending his season about two months early.
As for Hrabosky, according to the new system, he should never have been placed on the 30-day DL, and instead just missed the remainder of that particular game (based on his 58 relief appearances that year). But since he’s scheduled to return to the Royals lineup in just a few days, I’ll leave him right where he his until then. And for those of you who are interested, below is the actual updated pitching chart; click on it to get a better view.