Carl Pavano – Third in the Rotation?

It went largely unnoticed, but the Indians signed P Carl Pavano to a one-year, $1.5 million contract in January.  He is a pitcher obviously known for signing a four-year, $40 million contract with the New York Yankees and being injured throughout most of it.  To make matters worse, Joe Torre gives him a good ripping in his new book, in which he criticizes Pavano’s dedication and ability to play through injuries.

It doesn’t sound like much of a signing for the Tribe, but this is a legitimate reason to be excited, with an understandable level of caution, of course.  The Cleveland organization is known for rehabbing pitchers and turning them into solid starters once again (see Kevin Millwood as one example), so Pavano seems like the perfect fit for the Indians.  But the third spot in the rotation?  I suppose it only seems natural it would be given to him, because there is not a great deal of experience behind Cliff Lee and Fausto CarmonaJake Westbrook is not expected to be with the team until at least mid-season.

The pressure of the third spot in the Indians’ rotation is not nearly as daunting as what comes with even putting on a Yankees uniform, but there will be certain expectations for Pavano.  Granted, he only pitched in 34 1/3 innings last season, but he’ll have to improve on that 5.77 ERA.  Luckily for him, the Indians are usually a patient bunch, willing to let players work out their kinks for as long as it does not become a major hindrance to the team.  The Indians are poised to make a run at the AL Central, but Pavano will be one of the many questions that will need to develop into contributions if the team wants to sniff the playoffs for the first time since the debacle that was 2007.

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Tags: 2009 MLB Season AL Central Division Carl Pavano Cliff Lee Fausto Carmona Jake Westbrook Kevin Millwood New York Yankees Pitcher

  • kellenbarton

    I’ve got nothing against the Tribe, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much with Mr. Pavano. Even if you forget about his tenure with the Yankees, Pavano was the benefactor of  terrible Yankees’ decision making in the 2005 off season, an off season in which he received a contract he had no business getting (Jaret Wright was also given a much bigger contract than he should have been).

    Pavano got that 4 year, $40 million contract off of the heels of an 18-8 season for the Marlins, even though his career record after that season was still below .500 (63-68). In his Yankee “career,” Pavano averaged less than nine starts per season with a 5.10 ERA. The Yankee’s might have been better off with him hurt.

    The AL Central looks to be wide open, and I wish the Tribe the best of luck, but don’t expect Pavano to be the reason for any potential success.

    ps. My real hope is that the money spent on the signings of Sabathia and Burnett look nearly as foolish for the Yankees as the Pavano/Wright signings looked four years ago.