• He Makes The Contreras Signing Look Good

    Posted by on February 15th, 2006 · Comments (16)


    From the AP:

    Joe Torre settled into the chair in his spring training office and began 2006 the same way he spent most of 2005: discussing an injured pitcher.

    Carl Pavano, who missed the second half of last season because of a shoulder injury, has lower back discomfort that will prevent him from throwing off a mound until around March 1. He was to pitch off a mound Wednesday at the minor league complex but instead threw off flat ground for the second time in three days.

    New York made the decision after Pavano mentioned the back issue last week, then was sent to examined by back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins, who recommended a 10-to-14 day exercise program. The setback raises the possibility Pavano might not be ready for the start of the regular season on April 3.

    “You certainly don’t want to get to this point of taking this much care and then decide that just because the season opener is coming that you’ve got to hurry up and do something,” Torre said. “He could very well be ready to start the season, I don’t know, but again, we’re certainly not going to have that as a necessity.”

    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman wouldn’t detail specifics of the back problem other than to say it wasn’t structural.

    Comments on He Makes The Contreras Signing Look Good

    1. baileywalk
      February 16th, 2006 | 8:48 am

      A Yankee player could go out, get drunk, run over an unwed mother and her baby, and Pavano would STILL be New York’s punching bag. He has to be the most hated man on the team. Amazing.

      Anyway, Torre is a goddamned idiot. Pitchers reported for the first time on Thurday, Pavano is delaying his throwing session, and this jackhole tells the press it might mean he misses the start of the season? Why would you give them that morsel? And why in the world would it mean that he can’t start the season? Missing a week in mid-February will prevent him from starting? In what world? Either Torre dislikes Pavano too, or he’s got his head up his butt further than usual.

    2. Raf
      February 16th, 2006 | 9:28 am

      Should’ve traded him when they had the chance. Great, just great.

      It’s not that I don’t like the man, I knew the Yanks weren’t going to get much out of Pavano, and they were better off spending their $$ elsewhere. Same with Wright.

      This is going to be an interesting season, from a rotation standpoint. Who’s going to be this year’s Small, Chacon and Wang?

    3. DFLNJ
      February 16th, 2006 | 9:53 am

      Let’s just hope that this year has a Small, Chacon, and Wang in it.

    4. baileywalk
      February 16th, 2006 | 10:08 am

      Should have traded him when they had the chance? When was that chance? Last year was his first year with the club and he got hurt midway through. I guess they had a “window” to trade him this off-season — if you think trading him for a useless fourth outfielder is the smart thing to do.

      And as for who will be this year’s Small, Chacon and Wang… well, I guess it’ll be Small, Chacon and Wang — since all three are on the team.

      I’m sure the press and fans would hate for Pavano to be healthy and have a productive year — nothing like kicking around a young millionaire to make yourself feel better about yourself — but if he isn’t healthy and the Yankees have to put Wright in the rotation, the Yankees are in trouble. Big trouble. Wright is not only most likely destined for a DL trip, he can really implode on the mound. He’s the type of guy who doesn’t just seem to have average, bad outings. When he goes bad, he goes bad in spectacular ways. I could easily see him burning out the ‘pen in every bad start he has.

      So enjoy your Pavano-bashing, but hope he’s healthy, because his health is integral to the Yanks’ success.

    5. February 16th, 2006 | 10:26 am

      FWIW, I too have said that Pavano is a key to the Yankees season: http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2005/11/pavano_mussina.html

      But, I have to wonder if he would be so quick to shut down, as he did last year and now this Spring, if he was in the last year of his contract.

      This just smells of a guy who’s not going to play unless he’s 100% – because he’s getting paid anyway. Maybe I’m wrong? I dunno. I wish this was a non-issue. But, because he is always coming up with something, the question is there.

    6. Raf
      February 16th, 2006 | 10:54 am

      It was the smart thing to do. You have a mediocre pitcher, who allegedly doesn’t want to be here. Accommodate his wishes. Addition by subtraction.

      You expect Chacon, Wang and Small to repeat their 2005 numbers? Maybe they will, I suspect they won’t.

      If Pavano is healthy this year, wins 30 and the Cy Young Award while winning all 4 games of the World Series, great. Good for him and the Yanks. But I’m not expecting it.

      The fact that the Yanks are pinning their hopes on a healthy Pavano speaks to their ability to evaluate talent.


      “Yankee Stadium, while a pitcher’s ballpark, doesn’t deflate offense nearly as much as Pro Player, and Pavano will now have to face a DH instead of a pitcher each time through the lineup. Plus, New York’s defense won’t be in the same league as Florida’s, even if they end up with Carlos Beltran in center field. In other words, Pavano may have seen his last ERA in the threes for a while, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his ERA is closer to 5.00 than 3.00 in 2005. For all the money they’re throwing around and all the talk about improving their rotation, the Yankees look like they’re basically collecting middle-of-the-rotation starters and paying premium money in doing so.”

    7. Raf
      February 16th, 2006 | 11:06 am

      But, I have to wonder if he would be so quick to shut down, as he did last year and now this Spring, if he was in the last year of his contract.

      This just smells of a guy who’s not going to play unless he’s 100% – because he’s getting paid anyway. Maybe I’m wrong? I dunno.

      I’d rather someone shut down because they’re hurt than pitch and make a bad injury worse.

      JR Richard, anyone?

    8. February 16th, 2006 | 11:23 am

      The tests today prevent another Richard.
      And, the tests today have not said that Pavano has anything dire, IIRC.

    9. hopbitters
      February 16th, 2006 | 11:52 am

      If our success hinges on the health of the league average pitcher, there are serious problems with the team. At his best, Pavano is a good pitcher, but not an ace. He’s only had two 30+ start season ever (27 RSAA) was matched by Rivera last season in all of 78.1 innings (along with a dozen other pitchers). At some point, we need to realize that he’s not going to be consistent in either pitching performance or health. The fact that he had two good (not great) seasons in the midst of mediocrity doesn’t alter the fact that you can’t rely on him to pitch well or even to pitch at all on any given day. If he does both, you just got real lucky. The best thing he can do is stay hurt and remove all doubt.

    10. hopbitters
      February 16th, 2006 | 11:55 am

      lost some words somewhere – amending above :

      …two 30+ start seasons and his best season ever (27 RSAA)…

    11. rbj
      February 16th, 2006 | 12:57 pm

      I don’t hate Pavano. At least he’s not Kevin Brown.

    12. February 16th, 2006 | 1:09 pm


    13. Jason O.
      February 16th, 2006 | 2:01 pm

      Clemens could solve this conundrum.

    14. February 16th, 2006 | 2:45 pm

      I’m hoping that Matt DeSalvo sees it as a chance.

    15. Raf
      February 16th, 2006 | 3:51 pm

      I’m hoping that Matt DeSalvo sees it as a chance.

      Yep, hopefully his back woes won’t interfere with his progress? I’d say a few starts in Trenton, a few more in Columbus, then call him up.

    16. baileywalk
      February 16th, 2006 | 5:09 pm

      I would love to see DeSalvo get a chance (though not off an injury of Pavano), but there’s no way in hell that it will happen this year. Before anyone from the minors gets the call, you have Wright and Small (and possibly Villone). In the minors you have Sean Henn, Steve White, DePaula and even Rasner (and throw Scott Proctor’s name onto the list if he takes to starting in AAA).

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