The Red Sox, who also send young pitchers to the lab, are further along. Reinold, the team's rehab specialist and a Wilk protégé, is applying what he learned in Birmingham to Boston's pitching staff, creating a new kind of insurance. Through "pathomechanics," Reinold studies Papelbon and his teammates' deliveries to determine the points of maximum force, which are most vulnerable to injury. That's where each pitcher focuses on building strength and stamina. The data also allow the coaches to deploy pitchers in a game partly based on test scores, not guesswork.
The methodology is still evolving, and the Sox are one of the few to embrace the high-tech analysis, so they won't divulge too much. Suffice it to say, they believe they have an advantage on their hands. Literally. The proof, Reinold says, is "the large ring I'm wearing on my finger." The inscription: 2007 World Series Champions.
Following up on Nick's prior post, this article from Fast Company
details the career of Dr. James Andrews. It's a lengthy article, and worth the read. The intelligence and deductive reasoning that the Sox are applying to medical ailments is intriguing and reassuring; though they are taking financial (and performance) risks with previously hurt players, it's clear that these risks aren't taken willy-nilly. Nick's hunch that the Sox have faith in their medical staff is certainly borne out by this story. We'll see if the medical staff's abilities with those signings is manifested in their on-field performances.
Regardless, it seems that the Sox are playing a short-term game, hardly inadvisable based on both the state of the free agent market (running higher for elite players) in combination with the state of the economy. Like several of John Henry's businesses, this off-season feels like something of a hedge.