The Case Against Carl Pavano For The Rockies


The Colorado Rockies are open to a myriad of mediocre options when it comes to bolstering their awful starting rotation. It is an understatement to say that they cannot afford to be picky. I believe that fact is reflected accurately in some of the pitchers for whom I have advocated here on Rox Pile. That list includes Derek Lowe (still in favor of that one), Brandon Webb (likewise), and Carlos Zambrano (not sure what happened to me that day). Such is the context of the statement which I will now make.

I’m saying no to Pavano. Image: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies need to stay away from Carl Pavano.

Courtesy of FanGraphs, Pavano’s Bill James projection for the 2013 season reads as follows: 9-12 record, 184 innings, a 4.11 ERA and a 4.09 FIP. With 2012 essentially a lost season (Pavano started a mere 11 games), one might also note that he ratcheted up his use of a split finger fastball (4.9%) that had been in hiatus since the 2009 season. With any effectiveness, that pitch would be useful in Coors Field.

Back to that 9-12, 184 innings pitched line. Wouldn’t every Rockies fan take that in a heartbeat? Yes. Does it say a lot about the state of the Rockies that those numbers look pretty darn appealing? Absolutely it does. There is just one huge looming problem…

…Calling Carl Pavano injury prone is like calling Barry Bonds “large-necked.” It is like saying that Bill Belichick “doesn’t talk much.”

For the all risks that the Rockies can afford to take on this season, another injury risk guy is not one of them (I’m giving the aforementioned Brandon Webb a pass on this one because of his career ground-ball numbers). Much of the appeal with Derek Lowe lies in his durability. Miguel Batista‘s arm is super-human in its “rubberiness” (I’m not sure if you guys appreciate how much I was hoping that “rubberiness” was a real word…that red squiggly line was heartbreaking just now).

The Rockies are already heavily invested in pitchers coming off of significant injuries. Any guarded optimism entering the season is dependent on the sustained health of Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, and Juan Nicasio. So when it comes to candidates along the lines of Lowe and Pavano, they need to stay away from injury prone guys. They have enough of those worries already.

They need to stay away from Carl Pavano.