Pavano To Twins

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From the Twitter account of Joe Christensen, the Twins have acquired RHP Carl Pavano from the Indians. Boof Bonser gets moved to the 60 day DL and RA Dickey has been optioned to AAA as part of the deal.

After a couple of injury plagued seasons as a member of the Yankees, Pavano has had a decent year with the Indians, posting a FIP of 4.26. Pavano doesn’t really strike anyone out anymore (6.30 K/9) but he doesn’t walk anyone either (1.65 BB/9). His HR rate has been around the highest of his career, but the fact that he gives up a lot of flyballs doesn’t worry me anymore now that the Twins have their optimal outfield defense out there again.

Pavano has lost a bit off his fastball, as evidenced by it being nearly 17 runs below average on the year. He still has good breaking stuff, and in fact this year his slider has been as good or better than it has ever been. In his last start, on August 1st, Pavano beat the Indians 11-1, throwing 8 innings. Detroit doesn’t have the greatest lineup, but they’re one of the two teams we need to beat down the stretch. Let’s take a look at his pitch f/x from that start:

Click to enlarge

As you can see, he dialed his fastball up to 95 mph at one point, and got a lot of varying movement in his pitches. I have no idea what those 5 dots are in between the fastballs and the curveballs, but they could be curveballs that just got away, or maybe changeups that went too fast.

In any event, Pavano could be the masterstroke that propels the Twins to the playoffs, or he could be terrible. This weekend is a huge weekend, and assuming Pavano starts one of the games I will be tuning in and on the edge of my seat.

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