Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Carl Pavano 2009
The Cleveland Indians signed Carl Pavano yesterday. The plan is apparently for Pavano to be their #4 starter in 2009. That doesn't say much for the bottom of their rotation. The last time Pavano pitched 100 innings was in 2005. The last time he made it to 101 innings was 2004, which was also the last time his K/9 reached 5.0. Not only is Pavano a huge injury risk, but whether he can still pitch effectively even when healthy is still an open question. In limited action (34.1 innings) Pavano struck out 15 and walked 10. Not exactly encouraging, although he pitched slightly better in his 19 minor league innings. His groundball rate (which had always been much higher in the past) also dropped to 40.5%. The thing that makes signing Pavano seem like a really bad idea though isn't the risk...it's the limited upside. Even in 2004, when many people were calling Pavano a star, his strikeout rate was only 5.9. So at best, he'll just be adequate. And with Pavano turning 33 years old tomorrow, I wouldn't count on things working out that well.