He has what Torre is describing as “forearm soreness,” though we’ve heard that one before (like Mariano last year). Rasner starts in his place, Henn starts for Moose on Tuesday.
A-Rod, right, sure can hit the ball. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
May 22 fell on a Sunday in 2005. I was a week away from my college graduation, and Carl Pavano stiffled the Mets for 7 innings en route to his fourth win of the year. At 4-2 and with a nifty 3.69 ERA, things were looking up for Pavano who had throw a complete game five-hit shut-out against the Mariners five days earlier.
Little did we know that Carl Pavano would not win his fifth game as a Yankee until April 9, 2007. But that’s the way the cookie â€” or elbow â€” crumbles sometimes.
Tonight, Carl Pavano became the first Yankee starter of 2007 to pitch into the sixth, and then he became the first Yankee starter to pitch into the 7th. When he came out after the 7th, the Yanks, powered by home runs off the bats of Bob Kelly Abreu and Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, had an insurmountable 8-2 lead. Two innings later, the Yanks would make a winner out of Carl Pavano
It took Pavano 687 days or 1 year, 10 months and 18 days to record that win, but it was well worth it for those of us watching at home. Pavano was stingy with his pitchers. He faced 25 batters and threw just 79 pitches. That’s just 3.16 pitchers per plate appearance. Hew threw 48 strikes and generally kept the ball down as is his wont.
With some nifty fielding and timely two-out hitting by Abreu and Rodriguez, Pavano’s effort was more than enough to start the Yanks off on the right foot on the road. And hopefully, his next win is just five days away instead of 687.
While you await Joe’s WPA recap of the game, Tyler Kepner at The Times notes how Sydne Ponson and Carl Pavano are forever linked in Yankee history. It certainly made me wonder what a healthy Pavano would have meant for the Yanks over the last two seasons.
River Ave. Blues Yankees Gossip Magazine, we cover all the important stories. So here you go. Gia Allemand just dumped Carl Pavano three days before his Opening Day start. Thanks a lot, Gia. When the Yanks lose on Monday, you’re the scapegoat in the minds of millions and millions of fans.
Who could have predicted the series of events that would begin to unfold just a week ago, when Andy Pettitte experienced back spasms following a workout? Chien-Ming Wang injuring his hamstring while running isn’t exactly something we fans were worried about; if there was any concern at all, it was for his shoulder. Then Jeff Karstens, who was actually in consideration for the Opening Day starter gig, left yesterday’s game in the second with elbow stiffness. Turns out that logjam at AAA may not be as much of a problem as once thought over the season’s first month.
The timing of Wang’s injury — on a day Mussina pitched — leaves very open the matter of who starts on Opening Day. Pettitte is just returning to the mound today, preparing for a final exhibition start on Friday, which puts him right out of consideration. Since Mussina pitched Saturday, he’ll pitch Thursday, which also renders him out of bounds — there is no need to start a guy on three days rest before the season even begins.
Speculated over the weekend has been the real possibility that Carl Pavano ends up taking the ball Opening Day. At this point, it’s between him, Darrell Rasner, and Kei Igawa, meaning that any choice will likely leave the Yankees with the worst Opening Day starter in the league. Pavano rises to the top of that crop because 1) he’s the most recognizable name, 2) in theory, he is the best of the three, and 3) he gets paid the most money. To be honest, I’d be hard pressed to come up with three worse reasons for starting a guy on Opening Day.
Technically, though, it’s still spring, and spring means that hope and faith are still in abundance. So instead of lamenting how disgusting it is that Carl Pavano will start on April 2, let’s see if there’s any positive spin to put on this. Let’s see…Pavano has been injured for the past season and a half, and Opening Day will be his first MLB start in 643 days. As far as we know, he’s healthy now while his teammates ail. He hasn’t looked necessarily good this spring, but he hasn’t been tattooed. I got it!
It is Carl Pavano’s destiny to pitch a no-hitter on Opening Day. Am I stretching a bit? Sure. But think about this: how perfectly did these events unfold in Pavano’s favor? When pitchers and catchers reported, the only way that he would have even had a shot to pitch Opening Day was if Pettitte, Wang, and Mussina succumbed to injury, Jeff Karstens looked flat, and Kei Igawa didn’t adjust quickly. Of course, all five of those happening is an enormous long shot. A week and a day ago, only the Igawa scenario looked like it was happening.
But then we had the Pettitte incident on the same day Karstens got roughed up. Wang’s hammy lined up with Mussina’s start, leaving the team’s collective hands tied. If Pettitte had been hurt lifting that Friday and not Monday, if Wang got hurt earlier and the Yanks were able to juggle Moose’s rotation turn, then there would have been another answer on Opening Day. But now we’re stuck with Carl Pavano, and he could provide the kind of Opening Day magic we only hear about in tales told by 70-year-old men.
Or he could tire after five innings and get shelled by the D-Rays. I suppose that’s the more likely scenario. But, once again, we’re in the season of dreams, when anything is still possible because nothing to this point has counted.
Of course, I jest about Pavano’s destiny. However, I maintain a degree of seriousness when I ask: why not Phil Hughes? True, there’s a level of pressure to pitch well in that scenario, but Yankee Stadium would be absolutely electric, and that would definitely get the 20-year-old’s adrenaline pumping. I think a guy like Hughes would feed off it rather than be scared by it.
Plus, just think about it; who would you rather have start Opening Day, Phil Hughes or Carl Pavano? Seems like a no-brainer, right?
Nope, that’s not a typo. By many accounts, Carl Pavano â€” the missing-in-action Carl Pavano â€” is going to start Opening Day for the Yanks. With Wang landing on the DL, Pettitte needing a few more days to get ready, and Mike Mussina’s starts not lining up right, Pavano may be the one to take the ball against the Devil Rays on Monday, April 1 at Yankee Stadium. This goes to show that it really doesn’t matter who symbolically gets to pitch game 1 of 162. And as Peter Abraham noted, “Pavano would be pitching on 643 days of rest.”
It ain’t the prettiest box score you’ll ever see, but the Yankees continued to pummel their exhibition opponents today, defeating Cole Hamels and the Phillies, 10-5.
Pavano’s line: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 0 HR, 2/3 GO/FO. His strikes to balls isn’t available in these sparse box scores. We’ll see if he complains of pain tomorrow.
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)