Found July 13, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS Since becoming a member of the Minnesota Twins late in the 2009 season, Carl Pavano has been an innings-eater. The 14-year veteran pitched over 220 innings in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons. No matter how the rest of the rotation was pitching at the time, the Twins could count on Pavano to pitch deep into games.
That hasn't been the case in 2012, and no one is more frustrated about it than Pavano. Now 36 years old, Pavano has spent over a month on the disabled list this season with a right shoulder strain. He hasn't pitched since June 1 after making 11 starts this year.
For a Twins team desperately in need of starting pitching, Pavano can't provide it.
"It's no fun being in this position," Pavano said Friday. "It's an opportune time to be a starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins. They need me. That's why they signed me for two years. It's been frustrating for me not to be able to go out there and compete for my team. There's no doubt. I'm letting myself down. I'm letting everyone down around me."
Pavano dealt with injuries while playing under the bright lights of New York City when he was with the Yankees from 2005-08. He missed the entire 2006 season due to numerous injuries.
When he came to Minnesota, Pavano thought he had put his injury-plagued past behind him. He was 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA in 32 starts in 2010 and went 9-13 with a 4.30 ERA in 33 starts last season with the Twins. He was expected to be one of the workhorses in Minnesota's rotation in 2012, especially after right-hander Scott Baker was shut down for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
That is, until his shoulder became an issue.
Up until this year, Pavano had stayed healthy while in Minnesota. But there were warning signs early in the season when Pavano's velocity on his fastball was noticeably slower than where it was the previous season. According to PITCHfx data, Pavano's fastball was averaging 86.2 mph this season, compared to 88.7 mph in 2011 and 90.0 mph in 2010.
Pavano pitched through discomfort before it was finally too much to handle and he was placed on the disabled list. Would he have handled things differently now that he knows how lengthy the rehab process has been?
"This is one of those situations where I'm not going to second-guess it," Pavano said. "I am where I am right now. I just have to move on. Looking back, hindsight is always 20-20, but to be honest with you I did the right thing. I needed to take the ball. We had Baker who was going through some things. That's my job, to take the ball. I didn't pitch well and I was definitely dealing with something that was hindering me a little bit. My honest opinion was that I was going to get through it."
For now, it's a slow climb back from the DL for Pavano. Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Friday that it's doubtful Pavano will be back with the team before the July 31 trade deadline.
Pavano played long toss from 120 on Friday and he'll throw again Sunday, with the hope of throwing off the mound by next week. He'll still likely need a rehab assignment since he hasn't pitched in over a month.
"The big thing is trying to stay away from setbacks. Start doing too much and then we have a setback or something, you don't want to go there," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "We want to make sure he's healthy before he gets out there and starts really letting it fly. He's working his program and he's going day by day. Once we get him on the mound and he's able to throw off a mound then we know we're a little bit closer. But we're not there yet.
Pavano, the veteran of the pitching staff, is both antsy to get back on the mound but at the same time patient to not rush back too soon. As he deals with his shoulder injury, Pavano has been forced to watch as the Twins have struggled to a 36-49 record at the break.
Pitching has been a big reason why, and Pavano is frustrated that he can't be part of the solution.
"This game isn't easy, but it is a lot harder on the DL, because you start playing mind games," Pavano said. "You see the team struggling. You see the team going through a lot of starters, calling up guys that maybe weren't quite ready to start, but we have no one because I'm not available. You feel like you put your team in that position and I did in essence.
"It's not something I did on purpose. They paid me a lot of money to go out there and be the guy they can count on and they haven't been able to do that. There's no doubt that it's frustrating for me and everyone involved. There's not much I can do, there's not much I can control than (to) work hard, stay positive and be here for my teammates and do everything I can do to get back."
Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
BEST OF MAXIM
Prior to the first game back from the All-Star break, the Minnesota Twins will reinstate closer Matt Capps from the 15-day disabled list. To make room for Capps on the roster, the Twins will option right-handed reliever Kyle Waldrop to Triple-A Rochester.
Capps went on the DL on June 25 after dealing with inflammation in his right shoulder. He made two appearances with High-A Fort...
MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota Twins closer Matt Capps rejoined his team Friday after spending time on the 15-day disabled list. But manager Ron Gardenhire said the plan is to ease Capps back into the closer's role.
"We'll put him in a couple of different situations," Gardenhire said before Friday's game against Oakland at Target Field. "This is the big leagues...
MINNEAPOLIS The characters may be different, but the script looks similar.
A year ago, the Minnesota Twins entered the All-Star break seven games under .500 and in fourth place in the American League Central, 6 games out of first place. One year later, Minnesota is in an even deeper hole at the break dead last in the American League Central at 36-49, 11 games behind first-place...
MINNEAPOLIS Camilo Pascual's curveball was a big reason he led the American League in strikeouts for three straight seasons during his career. And on Saturday, that curveball helped Pascual earn a spot in the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame.
Pascual, a native of Havana, Cuba, became the 24th member inducted into the team's Hall of Fame prior to Saturday's game at Target...
MINNEAPOLIS Francisco Liriano has shown throughout his career that he can be a dominating pitcher. But Friday's outing may have been Liriano's most dominant start to date.
The Twins left-hander fanned a career-high 15 batters Friday against Oakland, baffling Athletics hitters for eight innings. Yet one rough inning was all it took for Liriano and the Twins to come away...
MINNEAPOLIS Josh Willingham spent just one season in Oakland, but he set a career high with 29 home runs last year with the Athletics.
One year later, Willingham is on pace to surpass that total with the Minnesota Twins, and he's taking advantage of his former team in the process.
After hitting two home runs in Friday's loss to Oakland, Willingham hit another in Saturday...
The Minnesota Twins can look forward to major improvements to their Spring Training facility in Fort Myers, Florida. The Twins signed a conditional 30-year lease with Lee County, Florida to remain at the current Hammond Stadium with the conditions that the county was going to make significant upgrades. Lee County was the only county in the State of Florida to apply for...
In the wake of his print interview with Glen Perkins, David Laurila, curator of FanGraphs’ Q&A Series, asks the Twins left-hander some questions posed by actual, real-live FanGraphs readers.
Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.
You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.
Audio after the jump. (Approximately...
Minnesota Twins starter Francisco Liriano was cruising through the Oakland Athletics lineup Friday, looking as dominant as he did when he threw a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox last season.
Then, Oakland's Johnny Gomes deposited his one bad pitch into the second deck in left field for a grand slam. In past cases, it would have been the beginning of the end for the enigmatic...
(1.) How many hits did it take to get 999 runs? (2.) At what point did the Twins go to position players as to save the bullpen for today’s game? (3.) Will Ron Gardenhire lose his job over this embarrassing loss? Helluva fantasy baseball night.
Filed under: Baseball
Jonny Gomes' grand slam helped the Oakland Athletics overcome a career-high 15 strikeouts from Francisco Liriano and beat the Minnesota Twins 6-3 on Friday.
Liriano's 15 strikeouts were the second most in Twins' history and most since Johan Santana fanned 17 Texas batters at the Metrodome on Aug. 19, 2007.
Josh Willingham hit two home runs for Minnesota which has lost...
Francisco Liriano struck out a career high 15 batters on Friday night against the Oakland Athletics, but failed to win the game after giving up a grand slam to Jonny Gomes.
The 15 batters fanned by Liriano on Friday was the second most in Twins’ history, two behind Johan Santana’s record 17 strikeouts in 2007 against the Texas Rangers. Liriano recorded ten straight outs to start...
By JEFF MEZYDLO,
STATS Senior WriterA .500 record at the All-Star break has the Oakland Athletics feeling confident heading into the rest of the season.The A's hope to continue their recent success Friday night when they face the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.Since enduring a nine-game skid from May 22-June 1, Oakland (43-43) has gone 21-13. The A's allowed 15 runs while...