2015 Martin-Monahan Award Winner: The Brewers Repeat

2015 Martin-Monahan Award Winner: The Brewers Repeat

This article is part of our Fantasy Baseball Injury Report series.

In professional sports, the health of a team can go a long way to determining the success of a franchise. It is particularly important in Major League Baseball where one significant injury can have a trickle down effect on the entire organization and throughout the various levels of competition. The responsibility of preventing and minimizing injuries, as well as managing them when the do occur, falls on the shoulders of the team's medical staff, a group of professionals whose names often go unmentioned.

To recognize these individuals, the Martin-Monahan Award was established by injury sports writer and managing editor of FanDuel Will Carroll and is presented in conjunction with RotoWire.com and their injury analyst Jeff Stotts. The Martin-Monahan Award winner is selected using a number of statistical measures including days lost, injury cost, and multi-year average. The award is meant to highlight the contributions of the entire medical team, including physicians, Athletic Trainers, physical therapists, and other associated health professionals.

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The Martin-Monahan award is named in honor of two well-respected Athletic Trainers that spent their careers committed to improving and preserving the health of their athletes. Dick Martin, a long-time Athletic Trainer for the Twins, and Gene Monahan, a former mainstay for the New York Yankees, continually held themselves and those around them to unprecedented standards and helped raise the bar for medical care in Major League Baseball.

The 2014 Martin-Monahan award was presented to the Milwaukee Brewers, led by Head Athletic Trainer Dan Wright and Director of Medical Operations Roger Caplinger. The Brewers were the first repeat winner of the award having previously claimed the title following the 2005 season. Proving their success was no fluke, the Brewers bettered their numbers from last season and are the 2015 recipients of the Martin-Monahan award.

This marks this first time an organization has claimed the award in back-to-back seasons, though Wright and Caplinger have performed at an elite level throughout their careers. Wright was a member of the Cincinnati Reds medical team that was named the MLB "Training Staff of the Year" in 1991 by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) while Caplinger was part of the group that earned the award in 2001. Both men have served as athletic trainers for Major League All-Star Games, and in 2005 the duo worked together to claim their first Martin-Monahan award.

After finishing second to the Pittsburgh Pirates last season with 571 total days lost to injury, the Brewers lowered their total to 538 days lost to injury and returned to the top spot in baseball. The Seattle Mariners, the 2013 Martin-Monahan winner, continued their recent string of success finishing just behind the Brewers with 574 days lost to injury.

The Brewers were able to keep their days lost to a minimum by keeping the overall number of injuries low, finishing the year with 39 total injuries occurred. The number is more impressive when you consider that several of these ailments were the result of fractures, injuries that are largely unavoidable despite the medical team's best effort. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy missed time after a stray foul ball caught his foot and broke a toe while shortstop Jean Segura spent time on the disabled list with a fractured pinkie sustained during a head-first slide attempt. The consequences of Scooter Gennett's lacerated hand are even harder to pin on the medical team as the second baseman was injured in a bizarre shower accident.

The real success of the Milwaukee medical staff comes from their work with the pitching staff. As the Tommy John "epidemic" continues to run rampant in Major League baseball, the Brewers did not have a documented case of Tommy John surgery for the sixth straight season. Avoiding this surgery and its lengthy rehab process has allowed the Milwaukee medical staff to experience sustained success across multiple seasons worthy of recognition.

We would to like to congratulate Wright and the entire Brewers medical team and look forward to presenting them with the 2015 Martin-Monahan Trophy.

Previous Martin-Monahan Award Winners

2004: Tampa Bay Rays
2005: Milwaukee Brewers
2006: Chicago White Sox
2007: Cleveland Indians
2008: Pittsburgh Pirates
2009: Philadelphia Phillies
2010: Chicago White Sox
2011: Kansas City Royals
2012: Cincinnati Reds
2013: Seattle Mariners
2014: Milwaukee Brewers

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Stotts
Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
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