Is Pavano the answer?

Posted by Steve

You may recall me endorsing Carl Pavano for the Brewers last off-season before he strangely accepted arbitration from the Twins. He went out and had a very solid year season year, and now he’s looking to cash in on a multi-year deal. The Brewers are apparently going after him hard.

I (obviously) like Pavano. He doesn’t walk anybody–number two in the A.L. in BB/9 with 1.51, behind the superhuman Cliff Lee (0.76 walks per game!!!).

In fact, if the Brewers add Marcum and Pavano to their rotation, they will have significantly cut back on their walks from 2010. The Brewers were 29th in walks allowed last year–a huge reason why they gave up so many runs.  Replace Bush (3.36 BB/9) and Parra (4.65 BB/9) with Marcum (1.98 BB/9) and Pavano (1.51 BB/9), and it’s a completely different story.

Of course, as is with most free agent pitchers, there are concerns. Pavano will be 35. He has a history of injury, although he’s been healthy the last two years and was a workhorse last season (221 innings). My main concern, though, is how he would be affected by the Brewers’ porous defense.

While Pavano doesn’t walk guys, he doesn’t strike out very many either. That means the ball is put in play quite a bit. The Twins’ defense is substantially better than the Brewers’, and this would have a negative impact on a ground ball pitcher like Pavano.

The Brewers are said to have drawn a line at a two-year deal. That is a relief, as going three or more years on Pavano is a bad idea at his age.

I had been holding out hope that the Brewers might trade for another younger pitcher on Marcum’s level, but it’s possible that wouldn’t be the best route anyway. If they have to give up Lorenzo Cain or Mat Gamel in a deal for, say, Matt Garza, I might prefer Pavano and their young hitters over Garza without them.

Bottom line is, this rotation

1. Gallardo
2. Marcum
3. Pavano
4. Wolf
5. Narveson

is so much better than what the Brewers have had the last couple seasons. It’s at worst an average rotation, and I expect it would be above average in the NL. With the Brewers’ offense, it gives them as good a chance as any team in the NL.

Now if they can just figure out how to defend.

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6 responses to “Is Pavano the answer?

  1. I like your post about Pavano. Another reason I would like Pavano is he could start a ‘mustache’ trend within the clubhouse. Also, I read an article that the Royals and the Brewers have been heating up conversations for Grienke. I have a feeling that it would include Oridozzi (sp?) and Cain to get him, which I’m not sure I would like to have Dickerson or Gomez be our starting center fielder.

  2. BTW, if you’re interested in checking out the coolest Packer blog ever…..

    bchristianson.wordpress.com

  3. I just read about Cliff Lee signing with the Phillies and how they are now possibly trying to deal Joe Blanton to clear some room for him. I know absolutely nothing about the guy…any thoughts on that one, Steve?

  4. Blanton would be okay. He’s a solid-ish pitcher, but I’m not sure that would give the Brewers a playoff-caliber rotation.

    Lee going to Philly hurts the Brewers in more ways than one by the way. Not only does it create a dominant team in the NL, but it probably creates a trickle-down effect. I expect Greinke to go to either the Yankees or Rangers, and it may be a good chance that Garza goes to the one who doesn’t get Greinke. It also sounds like Pavano prefers Minnesota.

    The Brewers might get hung out to dry here.

  5. The same article I read from the NY Times said the Yankees aren’t even interested in Grienke apparently. Also, the Phillies could have the top four candidates for the NL Cy Young in their rotation, that is just sick.

  6. Interesting. I’d definitely expect Texas to be the frontrunner then for Greinke. It amuses me some that the Yankees have more or less struck out this off-season, but we’re still seeing the rich get richer in Boston and Philly.

    I’ve been seeing that the Royals don’t think the Brewers have enough to get Greinke. Well, I’d say they certainly have enough if they gave, say, Odorizzi, Cain, Escobar, Lucroy, etc, but there’s no reason the Brewers would do that. As far as I’m concerned, their realistic shot at Greinke left when they dealt Lawrie.

    The most realistic boost that I can see would be Garza or Shields. I think we’ll start to see these players fall pretty quickly not that Lee is off the market.

    And Brice, I checked out your blog. Good stuff.

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