So Carl might begin the season on the DL, according to reports this morning.  I guess this is just more good news for YF, seeing as the rest might do Pavano some long-term good.  On the other hand, being HEALTHY would probably be better news, but who am I to nitpick. I imagine I would have been slaughtered by commenters on this website if I claimed that "we’re excited that Manny and Schill aren’t healthy, as they’ll be excellent May additions to the club".   And at what point does the Yankees’ (and some of their fans’) nonchalance with regards to Pavano’s health problems turn into genuine concern?  This is a $40M pitcher we are talking about, not a mid-price, mid-rotation kind of guy.  Lastly, I wonder if Pavano is suffering from the Dizzy Dean effect, where one injury leads to another compromised body part, a cascade nearly impossible to reverse without serious changes to one’s pitching style and/or abilities.  Can the Yankees can ever really count on a return to 2003 form?

18 comments… add one
  • I think many a sabermetrically inclined analyst thought there was no-way of his returning to 2003 form in 2005–prior to any of his injuries; playing in a huge park no dh, a good defense, and some luck….
    I’d also note that on the Yankees, a $40-million pitcher, um, IS a mid-rotation kind of guy. At least so long as there’s a Randy Johnson around.
    As for the crux of your argument: Pavano may never recover, and that he will be the victim of cascading injuries; that may well be the case. But there’s really nothing here to add. He’s being shut down early with the particular aim of avoiding that problem. Will that work? Who knows. It’s tempting to say he’s “fragile” or “inury prone” but that hardly qualifies as legitimate medical analysis.
    So should Yankee fans be concerned? The Yankees have Randy, Moose, Chacon, Wang, and Small ready to go without Pavano, plus Wright in the wings. I think many of us feel that Pavano is never going to be more than a middle-rotation guy, and it seems the Yankees, at the moment, have several of these available. And with their ages, it’s probably smart that they do. But the Yankees won’t be relying on his performance nearly so much as the Sox will be dependent on Schilling or Manny, as you suggest.

    YF February 27, 2006, 12:05 pm
  • He’s not “injury-prone”, he’s INJURED. That’s a very different thing. Injury-prone guys can still make starts, injured guys can’t.
    But, yowzer – the stature of poor Mr. P has shrunk, and fast. This was a guy who was signed to replace Pettite (or Clemens, or pick your guy), to really solidify the rotation (maybe not at the very top, but certainly as a #2 or #3 guy at worst), and to slot in as a mainstay as Mussina aged. The Yankees paid a good deal of money for him in absolute terms, no matter what you say. The tone of your comment is that “hey, the Yankees (and you as a YF) never viewed him as all that important, there’s plenty of depth on the staff, so no biggie”. I’m no shrink, but this would appear to be a textbook case of denial (or revisionism). There’s nothing good about Pavano being damaged, surely it wasn’t expected when he was signed, and your post seemingly tries to slough off his problems as totally unsurprising, just part of the continuum that is the Yankees’ rotation. Correct me if I am misreading it, though, but it really seems that you are quite dismissive of the simple observation that Pavano’s injuries (and not his injury-proneness) are problematic and possibly debilitating to the team.

    SF February 27, 2006, 12:23 pm
  • I, for one, am not so concerned about Pavano, namely because he has yet to be able to make significant contributions to the staff. I can’t miss what I’ve never had.
    As for his price tag, I think that should be directed towards the Mike Lupicas of the baseball world. He gets a good drool out of Yankee payroll issues. I, like every Yankee fan, don’t sign the paychecks. Other than ticket prices, I’m not concerned with the Yanks’ finances, so it’s a waste to taunt us over 40 million bucks of someone else’s money. Pavano is just another mediocre player that got marquis money from the Yankee front office. He’s probably not worth it, but most Yankees over the years haven’t lived up to their tax bracket either. And as YF points out, the Yankees have an overabundance of middle-rotation guys.
    Keep in mind, the Yanks won 95 games last year. The majority of those were without him in the rotation. So you can’t expect Yankee fans to be losing sleep over this. If he were a 20 game winner, that would be a different story.

    lp February 27, 2006, 12:42 pm
  • Problematic, yes. Debilitating? That may be puhsing it. He only put in 17 starts last year, and the team still won the division. Could they have gone further with him healthy? Who knows. And, yes, it would be great to have a solid Pavano back. It would be fantastic.
    But it seems you’re fighting a two-year-old issue. Yes, the Yanks overpaid massively for Pavano, and almost certainly overestimated his ability. (But let it be noted, for the umpteenth time, that the Sox also very much wanted his services for 2004). But the water is essentially well beyond that bridge. The Yankees may still be paying for their mistake, but there’s just nothing left to say at this point. The Yanks have a stock of mid-rotation guys who should be able to step in for eachother when injury happens. That this is less than an ideal situation, especially given the team payroll, seems obvious. But what more is there to be said? File under, Old News.

    YF February 27, 2006, 12:44 pm
  • YF, let’s just give SF the answer he so desperately wants, so then he can link back here whenever he’s inclined and we’ll be spared his whole word-parsing lawyer routine.
    1- Carl Pavano is not a good pitcher.
    2- He is both injury prone and injured.
    3- He is ridiculously overpaid. Signing him
    was a terrible idea on the part of a baseball team called the New York Yankees, and is generally acknowledged to be the fault of Brian Cashman, and not the villified Tampa faction.
    4- We, as fans, were dead wrong when we expected Pavano to pitch as well as he did in 2003 for the duration of his contract. Salt in the wound is how embarrassed we all are now in front of Red Sox fans, in light of our boundless initial enthusiasm and optimism regarding Pavano. We were so wrong, and you were so right. We secretly wish that you, SF, were part of the Yanks’ front office, because we’re so impressed with your analytical ability.
    5- We, as fans, are constantly depressed worried about Pavano’s health, and how the team will be able to survive without his golden arm and clubhouse presense. I mean, he makes so much money! We’re not talking some middle of the rotation guy, here! This is Carl F-ing Pavano! I wish we had horses like Schilling, Wells, and Beckett anchoring the staff…

    lighten up sf! February 27, 2006, 1:44 pm
  • LUSF, you miss the main point, which is that Pavano being injured has been touted by both the Yankees and YF as being a GOOD thing. I fail to see that. If you are willing to put up with posts where I say “hey, an important piece of our team is hurt, but I am psyched because that means he’ll be well rested when he returns” then that’s fine by me, but I would be rightfully ripped for making such an absurdly glossy and misguided claim. You can call me on it if I ever state anything like that and I will gladly eat crow.
    Separately, just saying that “Pavano was never part of the equation” and therefore unimportant is a bit disingenuous, to me at least. I can envision a scenario where I posted something along the lines of “Pavano is useless, an injury risk, and nobody in Yankeeland should ever count on him to contribute a damn thing” and it would have been met with much disagreement from your side of the blogosphere. I didn’t, and that’s too bad for me, but what you are saying now is that I would have been completely justified in writing that, such is your (and YF’s) position on Pavano’s ability to contribute.

    SF February 27, 2006, 2:45 pm
  • I think THAT’s a bit disingenuous, SF.The point isn’t that he’ll be well rested when he returns, but that in the long term, and assuming he comes back healthy, it might not be the worst thing that his workload isn’t so huge for the season. That’s not unreasonable.

    YF February 27, 2006, 2:55 pm
  • If you believe Torre and management (and of course they could be spinning) they’re being extra extra careful about Pavano this time. It was a back injury last spring that lead him to throw differently and hurt his shoulder. By no means is this good news, but you get the feeling that if he needed to, he could pitch by opening day. In other words, the back thing could be essentially nothing, but the Yanks are being cautious; a reasonable move and one designed to make Pavano effective in the long-run.

    NickYF February 27, 2006, 3:01 pm
  • Not sure I understand what you are claiming is disingenuous of me. My statement that you think Pavano isn’t part of the equation? How so? You call it “old news”, his injuries, and commenter lp says that “you can’t miss what you don’t have”. Reversing my accusation doesn’t free you from your position or give your position substance. It’s just a rhetorical trick.

    SF February 27, 2006, 3:02 pm
  • The weird part is, you already did the calling out, and it was perfectly fair. A few days or so ago, YF wrote his post about Pavano and in the comments you let him have it, making sure to point out that if you had written something along those lines about a Sox player, you would have been called out. Fine.
    But what gives with writing your OWN post about Pavano, then bringing up the way YF chose to look at it a few days ago, and AGAIN letting him have it, and AGAIN pointing out that you never would have gotten away with writing what he did?
    You should do a whole series of posts where you rehash old posts of YF’s and then reiterate your old arguments!

    lighten up sf! February 27, 2006, 4:48 pm
  • SF’s fishing again, but this one is easy: faced with the identical back problem last year, Pavano did the wrong thing and caused other problems trying to compensate. This year he and the Yankees are starting the year right.
    With the early season schedule and the surplus of starters, this works just fine.
    The real question is this: at the end of the year, who will have had the better season, Pavano or Beckett? Anyone who says they know the answer to that question is bullshitting.
    The interesting news from Tampa is that “depleted” Yankee farm system may have two pitchers to equal or better Papelbon and Hansen.
    Some interesting news from Florida is that there’s reason to think both Schilling and Johnson will be considerably better in 2006 than 2005.
    Both staffs have question marks, but there’s a lot of reason for optimism for the Yankee staff, including the conservative way the team is dealing with Pavano.

    john February 27, 2006, 5:04 pm
  • including the conservative way the team is dealing with Pavano
    See, THIS is my point. Why is it good news that Pavano is more hurt than they expected at this time? Why is it good news that despite being shut down for the better part of 6 months he still can’t be counted on to be ready for the regular season. I understand that DLing the guy can be seen as the correct move, and the intelligent and conservative one, but it’s not a good thing or “reason for optimism” that they still have to deal with the injury at this point.

    SF February 27, 2006, 6:34 pm
  • lusf: the story today was substantively different than it was a few days ago (seeing as they are effectively shutting Pavano down and probably sending him to the DL), otherwise I would not have posted about it.

    SF February 27, 2006, 7:07 pm
  • News from Tampa…
    Wow, news from Yankees about guys on their own team!
    I’ll hold my thoughts on that till one of them actually pitches in the bigs and can get some guys out – like Papelbon and Hansen.
    Great Post, John.

    Brad February 27, 2006, 8:09 pm
  • Again, the only concern for the Sox staff is health of Schilling, which by all accounts is great as of late, so where does the “question” come from? Schilling’s down in weight and up in value. Beckett will be servicable at the minimum, and either of those options are better than four of the Yankee starters. If NY had Beckett, who I have openly expressed a little too much admiration for, you would not be able to fit a word in edge-wise around here. All of the sudden, his durability is a huge question mark that’s going to make or break the Sox chances. Can we be realistic about all this? The Yankee starters are being asked to do something that they have never done (outside Moose and RJ) while the Sox starters are being asked to be themselves and continue to do whatever they have done their entire respective careers. Which is more likely?
    Also, the chances of the Sox trading Arroyo without getting something great in return, which, by the way is not the most overrated player in Baseball (Soriano), when they were fortunate enough to get him for next to nothing this offseason is highly unlikely.
    As far as Wells is concerned, I say if you can get a bag of balls for him, do it. The guy is not working out with the team, and clearly wants to be back on the West coast.

    Brad February 27, 2006, 8:27 pm
  • Brad’s drinking the Sox Kool-Aid full force!

    tom yf February 27, 2006, 11:06 pm
  • I’ll hold my thoughts on that till one of them actually pitches in the bigs and can get some guys out – like Papelbon and Hansen.
    Ah, the the double standard of the RSN Fanatic. I remember your posts about “Paps” before he had ever pitched in the majors: it was clear, you said, he would be great. And somehow he already a nickname.
    I don’t know if the young Yankees will be great, but they have some pitchers with promise, like the Sox trio we hear about ad nauseam.
    I agree with you, Brad, they ALL have to prove themselves, over time. And Becket has to prove he can do it in the AL East, unlike Vasquez, or Pavano last year. There’s no question he has talent.
    Other questions: What about one-legged Boomer? Is Clements the pitcher we saw in the first half, or the second? Can Flaherty catch Wakefield without raising his era by a point (like Varitek)? How about all the pitchers in the bullpen who’ve never pitched in the AL East? What will Foulkie do? He seems to be a bit of a nut case. Who closes if he can’t?
    The Yankees have just as many questions about their pitching, and some reasons for optimism. This isn’t a zero sum game, where the Yankee staff will be good if the Sox staff is bad, or vice versa.

    john February 28, 2006, 8:46 am
  • becketts been on the DL more then randy johnson has in his whole career and Becketts been playing for what. 5 years lol. and Randy is 99 years older. oh Josh will be on the DL sitting next to Jaret Wright and Mike Mussina. :P

    yankfan March 7, 2006, 10:24 pm

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