Pavano: Headed for the Knife?

Snicker, snicker, snicker. Carl Pavano is headed to Alabama for an appointment with Dr. James Andrews, with the possibility of Tommy John Surgery in the offing. “Glass” Carl, the “Rajah of Rehab” has become a joke around the Yankee beat, and to a degree he’s responsible for that fact. It’s worth noting that the “sabermetric types” thought his contract was wildly inflated even before he started missing games; once he started missing them, the “baseball people” began to question him as well. At this point, it’s a foregone conclusion that his contract is a disaster. But it’s getting a bit tiring to hear Pavano’s name trotted out as a joke. Al Leiter is an interesting comparison. The Yanks promoted Leiter to the bigs when he was 21 in 1987, and traded him for Jesse Barfield (who’s kid is now in the league–yikes!) two years later, when his perennial blister problems looked like they’d utterly sidetracked his career. He didn’t throw more than 180 innings in a year until 1995, when he was 29. He went on to a fine career, and now he’s in the YES booth. Pavano is now in his age 31 season, so his injury problems are taking up a greater portion of his prime. But there is surely a possibility he can come back to a productive career. Whether that will be with the Yankees is another story. He can’t live up to the value of his contract, but that doesn’t mean he is without value. And that’s no joke. Of course, there’s also the possibility that surgery, if necessary, could end his career, or postpone his return to a time when his prime is long gone. That’s not so funny either.

43 comments… add one
  • Oh. My. God.
    TJ surgery, really? This is just good comedy.

    LocklandSF May 3, 2007, 10:19 am
  • You can’t make this up. I’ve said that he would pay for it this year if he was a #5 starter (kind of, anyhow). Looks ilke he can’t even do that..

    Lar May 3, 2007, 10:23 am
  • While the Pavano this is constantly trotted out for everyone to (rightfully) snicker at, I ask this both in all seriousness and as a Sox fan: Is Matt Clement still alive, and does anyone know his status? Is he ever expected to pitch in the bigs again, or has he pulled a quasi-Albert Belle and is more or less retired, just still on the team so he gets his paycheck?

    Bullfrog May 3, 2007, 10:24 am
  • Uh, Pavano “thing”. Whoops.

    Jeremiah May 3, 2007, 10:26 am
  • Rotoworld:
    “According to the Boston Globe, Matt Clement (shoulder) “has a way to go before he can throw off a mound.” Clement is rehabbing in Florida and has been throwing from 105 feet. He’s reportedly still hoping to pitch this season. “He’s at a point now where there’s a lot of repetition,” manager Terry Francona said. “It’s boring, but he’s got to do it.” Apr. 25 – 8:37 am et
    Source: Boston Globe”

    SF May 3, 2007, 10:27 am
  • Clement’s shoulder injury was one that some pitchers don’t come back from.
    I don’t even know what everybody will say if Pavano goes under the knife. I can’t even make a joke about it, you know?

    Steve May 3, 2007, 10:29 am
  • I am not sure Leiter is the best comparison, other than to illustrate the idea that there’s life after the 20s for a pitcher. A better comparison might be…TOMMY JOHN! He underwent the now eponymous surgery at the age of 31 (with 134 wins at that point — Pavano has only 62), and then played until he was 46, winning another 154 games.

    SF May 3, 2007, 10:33 am
  • Thanks, SF and Steve.

    Jeremiah May 3, 2007, 10:34 am
  • I wasn’t intending the comparison so much as stat related, but as one of a guyon the Yanks who was absolutely pilloried as a perennial injury case who lost a huge career chunk and then, later, proved to be more than useful.
    But the John comparison is worth noting.

    YF May 3, 2007, 10:36 am
  • I wasn’t intending the comparison so much as stat related, but as one of a guyon the Yanks who was absolutely pilloried as a perennial injury case who lost a huge career chunk and then, later, proved to be more than useful.
    Got it – yours is certainly a fair comparison, YF. I was looking at it more from a magnitude-of-injury standpoint.

    SF May 3, 2007, 10:38 am
  • Matt who? ;^)
    I’d be more compassionate about Pavano’s potential surgery if there weren’t a few high-profile Yankee fans who consistently downplayed Glass Carl’s woes or even pretended it wasn’t happening until no one (not even Dave Pinto of Baseball Musings) could ignore it…

    Hudson May 3, 2007, 10:39 am
  • > the possibility of Tommy John Surgery in the offing
    Weird thing is that he’s getting it done on his left arm.

    attackgerbil May 3, 2007, 10:44 am
  • Well, if James Andrews finds significant damage, does Carl deserve admonishment? I mean, it’s a real injury.
    It’s really kind of a no-win situation for Pavano. If Andrews finds damage, there goes pitching. If he doesn’t, everyone will make fun of him and no one on the team will be too happy. Oh well.

    Andrew May 3, 2007, 10:45 am
  • Happy Birthday, Andrew!

    SF May 3, 2007, 10:47 am
  • They better find nothing but scar tissue in there, or he will be run out of town, which, you know, would be funny.

    LocklandSF May 3, 2007, 10:52 am
  • I hope for Carl’s sake his career is not in jeopardy. (Just as I hope Matt Clement and Mark Prior can make a return.) The ability is there, maybe not the type of ability that justifies that large contract, but #4/5 starter ability at the very least. I personally don’t find the humor in this (and here come the lighten up comments) but I could see how some of you do. This guy has a dark cloud hanging over his head and it’s unfortunate. Regardless of all the questions (degress of seriousness) surrounding his injuries, this guy has experienced nothing but bad luck since coming to NY.

    Triskaidekaphobia May 3, 2007, 11:24 am
  • Clement has been said to potentially be healthy enough to pitch late this season. The best scenario for the Sox is het gets a couple spot starts, does well, then gets traded. But if this is the last year of his contract, then it’s likely all a wash anyway.
    Anyway, look at those former Cubs pitchers — Wood, Prior, Clement. All with major arm and shoulder problems after a couple years of being worked by Dusty “don’t clog the bases” Baker.

    Paul SF May 3, 2007, 11:26 am
  • Question for Yankee fans:
    I have been against Clemens coming back from the get go. But now that Pavano and Hughes are done for possibly the year and 4-6 weeks I think they have to do everything to get this guy. It’s the only move that I would hole heartedly endorse at this point. I think of it this way all he will cost is $$$. Granted it’s a lot of $$$, but it won’t cost up Clippard, Tabata, Chamberlain, etc…I hate to say this, but the Yankees are DONE if they don’t improve this staff. There is no way a rotation of Wang, Moose, AP, Igawa and Matt DeSalvo can get you back in the hunt. I think the Yankees will be extremely cautious with Phil and we might not see him until late June.
    Sorry to post the question here, but it was either here or the White Hot Coco Crisp thread or News around RSN.

    Triskaidekaphobia May 3, 2007, 11:38 am
  • Trisk.
    I’m hoping, for Yankee sake, that that’s exactly what they do. But, on the other hand, I’m hoping they do it, and this is finally the year that the Rocket comes back to earth for good…on the Yankee books!

    Brad May 3, 2007, 11:44 am
  • Trisk, if I were you, I would also support Clemens coming back, but…
    I will eat my hat if he goes to either NY or Boston. He’s already so rich it doesn’t matter and the word on the street is that Huston will call up his son for one game if he comes back to Houston. I imagine that means more to him than anything else at this point.
    Also, he goes to NY and it will erase everything he ever did in Boston from a fan perspective, it will kill his legacy totally, I just don’t think Clemens is prepared to do that, I could be wrong.
    13 seasons in Boston and 5 in NY, he’s going in to the Hall wearing a Red Sox hat, especially now that it’s not up to the player.
    Of course, if it’s only about money, yes, he will go to NY, so if I’m wrong about this stuff, you may get your wish.

    LocklandSF May 3, 2007, 11:52 am
  • Hey YFs,
    With the doubleheader today, will Posada be playing both games? I ask this from a fantasy perspective. Posada is my backup catcher (Joe Mauer being my starter), and if he plays both games today, I’m starting him, but if not, I’d prefer to start Mauer. Anyone know protocol for Posada in this situation?
    Thanks guys.

    Devine May 3, 2007, 11:54 am
  • Brad, what’s up buddy good to hear from you.
    Listen I know he may be 75% of what he once was, but still at that it’s a win/win situation for the Yankees. It won’t cost them a top notch prospect and at 75% Clemens is still better then DeSalvo or Rasner or any other options they currently have.
    The fan (LOL), mostly Mike, has been talking about a possible Farnsworth for Lieber trade, ask me DONE. He’s a viable #4/5 and to be honest Farnsworth can be replaced by Britton. Do it and do it quick before Farnsworth over strides throwing a curve ball, LOL.

    Triskaidekaphobia May 3, 2007, 11:54 am
  • Devine, I would highly doubt Jorge catches both games. Matter of fact I would put money on it. He might DH the second game, but I would venture to say he catches 1 and only 1.

    Triskaidekaphobia May 3, 2007, 11:57 am
  • Given Philly’s situation with having to make Myers closer (Gordon has shoulder pain,) I don’t see them trading away starters any time soon.
    Like what happened to Boston last year, excess has a way of dissapearing quickly. Philly actually needs Lieber now.

    Steve May 3, 2007, 12:02 pm
  • I dunno Lockland, what if he comes back to New York and leads them all the way to the championship, and retires in a blaze of glory? Remember he’s only won championships with New York, and while he came up with the Sox and had a great career there, he had some pretty spectacular years (and plenty more Cy Youngs) after his tenure with Boston. Sure he spent more than half of his career there, but depending on what happens this year it’s not as locked-up as you’d think.
    Plus, he already went to New York, after Boston completely snubbed him. He doesn’t owe the Red Sox, or you, shit. If it erases the marvelous things he did while in Boston for you and Sox fans so be it, but that’s your problem, not his.

    Andrew May 3, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • Cool, Trisk. Thanks for the info. Man, now I’m totally undecided.
    What if he’s DH the second game and hits 3 home runs today and I miss out on it? Gar, stupid fantasy league with your choices. I guess I’ll go with Mauer. Is there a site with postings before game time on what a player’s likely status is? It would be nice, for instance, to know when somebody was getting a day off so I could swap for them effectively. I’ve only been doing this crap for three years, yet I’ve never asked this question. Ah well.

    Devine May 3, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • “Plus, he already went to New York, after Boston completely snubbed him. He doesn’t owe the Red Sox, or you, shit. If it erases the marvelous things he did while in Boston for you and Sox fans so be it, but that’s your problem, not his.”
    I don’t disagree with this at all Andrew, but I’m talking about the reality of the situation, not what is right, and I hate it when Red Sox fans consider him a traitor.

    Anonymous May 3, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • Trisk, is your question, “should the Yankees do everything they can to get this guy?”
    Okay, let’s do some wild-ass guessing. Let’s say they sign him May 15th; let’s say he’s probably in physical playing condition, only needs three weeks to tune up, and he is ready to start the first or second week of June. At that point, the Yankees will have about 100 games left in the season. Let’s say the team wins two-thirds of the 20 starts he would get in the regular from that point on, or approximately 14. Let’s say that using any other combination of starters, the team wins 10 of those 20 games.
    In my total WAG hypothetical process, I fear it will not be enough of a win differential by itself to make the playoffs; the Yanks will need to make more moves. However, it’s only money, it’s not my money, and it’s still a good idea. And if the Yanks keep playing sub-500 ball, it might be worth the investment just to make sure they get butts in the seats and eyes in front of the tube. Interesting side note: if the Yanks do sign him and he is ready to play by early June, that’s right around the beginning of interleague play when the Yanks face the Pirates, DBacks, Mets, Rockies, and Giants. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Rocket/Unit game or see Roger plunk Barry. Imagine the media furor if Rocket is throwing to Barry right around #755.

    attackgerbil May 3, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • Oh all right, I thought you were lumping yourself in with the crowd.

    Andrew May 3, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • That was me, by the way.
    Also, “what if he comes back to New York and leads them all the way to the championship.”
    The statistical chances of this tiny and I don’t mean that as a slight against the Yankees, I mean with any team, any year.

    LocklandSF May 3, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • Also, if any of you remember, the Red Sox spent a lot of time, money and effort last year in an attempt to not only bring Roger back, but also show him what he would be giving up by going to the Yankees.

    LocklandSF May 3, 2007, 12:18 pm
  • he had some pretty spectacular years (and plenty more Cy Youngs) after his tenure with Boston.
    This is simply not true. Clemens’ best years came with the Red Sox — six years with an ERA+ over 150. After that, he had four — two with Toronto, none with New York and two with Houston, one of those over a half-season.
    He won three Cy Youngs with Boston, two with Toronto, one with New York and one with Houston — not exactly “plenty more.”. His only MVP came with Boston. His two 20-K games came with Boston, etc. etc. In Boston, he’s tied for the franchise lead in career wins.
    He did win the rings with New York, and that counts for a lot. But when you discuss “spectacular seasons,” it’s Boston well out in front, with only Toronto even close (by virtue of the amazing quality of the two seasons he had there).

    Paul SF May 3, 2007, 1:04 pm
  • //Plus, he already went to New York, after Boston completely snubbed him. He doesn’t owe the Red Sox, or you, shit. If it erases the marvelous things he did while in Boston for you and Sox fans so be it, but that’s your problem, not his.//
    He’s pitched on both sides. He’s got just as much, if not more, of a legacy with Boston than he does with New York. If he signs with Boston and it erases the marvelous things he did in NY for you and Yankee fans so be it, it’s your problem, not his.
    Especially if he comes over here and wins a WS title in 2007. Imagine that scenario.

    Steve May 3, 2007, 1:07 pm
  • I wasn’t saying they were better…in fact I had written that and decided that it just wasn’t true.
    And, err, 3 Cy Youngs isn’t ‘plenty’? Plus, I’d say his 2005 season with Houston rivals some of his best years in Boston.
    I’m just saying that a lot of his spectacular career came away from Boston too.

    Andrew May 3, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • And Steve, you really need to work on turning those phrases. Because you really suck at it.
    I never, ever said it would erase anything he did with the Yankees. Just that a third world championship with him at the helm would add a hell of a lot.

    Andrew May 3, 2007, 1:12 pm
  • As a YF, I think Roger deserves to go in as a Sox. Maybe if he didn’t spend the last three years in Houston.. or if he wins a few more Cy Youngs with NY – unlikely, since he only pitches half a season..

    Lar May 3, 2007, 1:26 pm
  • If last year proves anything, it’s that Clemens will go where he wants to, not where fans think he should go, and probably not where gaining closure for his “legacy” tells him to go, which, however biased I might be, is Boston.
    I think the Yankees will be contending this year, but what if they are 8 games back in two weeks, while the Sox are well in first and the Astros are 4 or 5 games back in a weak division? Does playing with his kid trump his friendship with Pettitte et al? Does playing for gobs of money at home for a contender, no matter how weak, trump “closure” with the Sox? Does “closure” with the Sox and what might be a great shot at deep playoff action trump riding in on a white horse to NYC and failing? I really don’t think Clemens is thinking ONLY about money, or ONLY about being a “savior”, or ONLY about winning. In the end I wouldn’t want to wager where he will end up, none of the three teams would surprise me. But based on last year, his family, money, and winning, if Houston is a viable team, makes a good offer, agrees to call up his kid, I think he goes there.

    SF May 3, 2007, 1:30 pm
  • Andrew, you really suck at making coherent points (and not being a prick.)
    Work on that and everything you say won’t be turned around. It’s unfortunate that most of the shit you put out there can be reworded and thrown back at you.

    Steve May 3, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • How can the 4–4!!!—Cy Youngs Roger won after leaving Boston NOT be “plenty more”? I think we can give folks a bit of wiggle room on the use of language, to say the least.
    The HOF cap issue is ridiculous, in this era. Guys should just go in with a blank cap. It’s a bronze relief, afterall; it doesn’t need that kind of detail. Frankly, most of the plaques are absolutely horrendous anyway.

    YF May 3, 2007, 2:30 pm
  • I think it would be cool if the HoF did the bronze bust, as tradition dictates, but put an LCD monitor where the insignia on any cap would normally go on any player inducted after the onset of free agency. They could then play a continuous loop of all the logos, alienating no fanbase.

    SF May 3, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • > play a continuous loop of all the logos
    or maybe something like this?

    attackgerbil May 3, 2007, 2:53 pm
  • SF – would make sense, or just bronze as usual, with a projector-type thing pointed to the cap. Would be awesome anyhow.
    I agree with YF, though on the same note, I’m hypocritical for someone like Jeter – Yanks cap all the way!

    Lar May 3, 2007, 3:02 pm
  • Sure, four is “plenty more” Cy Youngs, particularly considering the award. But when he won three with Boston, four is exactly one more. As I saw the point, Andrew seemed to be downplaying Clemens’ years in Boston. Winning one more Cy outside of Boston than inside Boston does not strike me as “plenty more,” particularly considering he has not won three Cy Youngs with any other team. Of course seven Cy Youngs is ridiculous anyway, so it’s really not much of an argument to be having.

    Paul SF May 3, 2007, 3:50 pm

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