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
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.