In 1968, Neil Simon introduced the world to Felix Unger, a satirical portrayal of a hypochondriac. Well, ladies and gentlemen, the Yankees have their own hypochondriac earning nearly $10 million a season. That man is, of course, oft-injured pitcher Carl Pavano.
And wouldn’t you know it, the Rajah of Rehab is at it again. This time, he was the unfortunate recipient of a line drive off the bat of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during batting practice. While Brian Cashman says it’s just a bone bruise, LoHud’s Peter Abraham noted that bone bruises often take 18 months to heel (Just kidding).
Meanwhile, Pavano is indeed slated to pitch on Sunday against the Phillies during a Grapefruit League contest. Sadly, the game won’t be on TV, but many other games will be shown on the YES Network in the coming weeks. Glory days are here again.
But joking aside, the Yankees will be counting on Carl Pavano to pitch this year. I’m not sure we should really expect too much from him. Last week, Joseph took a look at Pavano’s numbers over his last few seasons on the mound. I want to look at what we should expect from him this year.
Let’s break it down by projection.
Boy, that 90-percentile PECOTA projection sure looks appealing, doesn’t it? Well, don’t get your hopes up. It’s hard to imagine Carl Pavano as an integral part of the Yankee rotation this summer. At best, Pavano may start around 20 games and throw 115-120 innings. That still leaves about 14 starts for the team’s 5th starter slot.
More discouraging – but not very surprising – is Pavano’s expected ERA. Pavano is set to deliver around 115 unspectacular innings of league-average ball. That 4.50 ERA is hardly comforting. Luckily, the Yankees are a team built to score runs. So Carl may actually win more than a handful of games. He most likely won’t be a dominate pitcher though.
Luckily for us though, the Yanks have ample back-up plans. They’ve got Darrell Rasner and Jeff Karstens. They’ve got Tyler Clippard and Humberto Sanchez. And they’ve always got Phil Hughes. These young guns all look a lot more appealing than one league-average Carl Pavano.
Image: Tony Randall, left, as Felix Unger. (Courtesy of Slate)