From Baseball Prospectus 2013, page 53:
[The 2012 Boston Red Sox] missed 1,587 man-games to injury, second most of any team since 2007, as far back as our data goes. We estimate those injuries cost Boston 7.9 WARP [Wins Above Replacement Player], the most in baseball by 1.4.
Over at the web site, guest writer John Paschal takes a crack at why baseball players get injured so often, and in such bizarre fashion:
So, given the fact that objective math provides only an incomplete answer, we must turn to the subtle art of subjective guessing, with each of us hazarding a sound hypothesis as to why baseball players seem to suffer a disproportionate number of very odd mishaps—the sort that saw former infielder Chris Brown miss time because he “slept on (his) eye funny” and former infielder Geoff Blum land on the DL with an elbow injury he sustained while putting on a shirt. And let’s not forget the time All-Star Ron Gant, just a week after signing the largest single-season contract in history, broke a leg in an off-season motorcycle accident, or the day All-Star Larry Walker separated his shoulder while fishing.
“I’d say the reason baseball players injure themselves in weird ways is because they (a) have a lot of free time; and (b) they have a lot of money,” posits baseball writer Craig Calcaterra, of the NBC Sports website Hardball Talk, in an emailed response. “This allows them to fill that free time with all manner of fun and, occasionally, dangerous activities. Helping things along is that, as elite athletes, they have never had a particularly hard time doing things most people can’t do. I have this feeling a lot of them think they’re going to be immediately and effortlessly successful in other pursuits as well. Which, unfortunately, isn’t always the case.”
John Thorn, the Official Historian of Major League Baseball, is considerably more succinct.
“Randomness,” he writes.
Yes, it’s that time of year: I’m geeking out about baseball again.