A Sabermetric Look at K-Rod’s ConjunctivitisBy: Brendan Bilko
It’s no secret that Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez has a nasty case of Conjunctivitis (more commonly referred to as “Pink Eye”), and has subsequently been held out of a weeks worth of Spring Training activity. Now studies show that approximately 65% of Pink Eye cases clear up within 2 – 5 days, but such has obviously not been the case for Rodriguez. Luckily for us, the folks at the Society for American Baseball Research have developed some advanced Conjunctivitis statistics to help us better understand Frankie’s infection.
Over the course of his career, Rodriguez has sustained a BCR (Bacterial Conjunctivitis Rating) of approximately 1.2, which is well above the league average (around 0.5). Part of this has been caused by his own superstitions. It is well known inside the team circle that Frankie must sleep with his lucky SuprimaPillow by Tempur-Pedic™ during the season. He is not one to wash the case for fear that it would cause him bad luck. When on the road teammates are known to play practical jokes on one another, and in Port St. Lucie it’s no different. Unfortunately it looks like someone (not to point fingers, but I’m looking at you Blanco) decided to release flatus on the wrong pillow.
When measured for toxins, the pillow case registered an astounding FPP+ (Feces Partical Percentage Plus – FPP compared to league average which is 100) of 167. It can be deduced from this data that the dirty case is the cause of his current infection.
Right now Rodriguez is registering a BCR rating of about 6.5 which is well above his career average and definitely cause for concern. His PD% (Purulent Discharge ratio) of 59% is higher than anything team doctors have ever seen, and his high initial IEI (Itchy Eye Index) of 7.2 is why they were so weary of it spreading. Hence they kept him away from camp.
Thankfully with the help of some eye drops these numbers are regressing to the mean and he has been able to start resuming some normal activity. Antibacterial eye drops have been known to speed up recovery time by approximately 1.3 days. This should be a relief to Mets fans as it looks like he won’t miss any regular season games because of this, therefore putting him in good position to have that ludicrous option in his contract vest.