Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.

The Forums


Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:56 PM
I'm just sayin'. We have a whole, way, way too long off season and hot stove league to discuss endless possibilities for our Twins and 20...
Full topic ›

Let's Give 'Em Credit

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:41 PM
From Ryan, to Molitor, to the boys on the field: This was a fun season and a better effort than most any of us could have hoped for....
Full topic ›

Minor League Ball's Nick Melotte on Kepler

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 09:42 PM
Interesting take on Kepler from Minor League Ball's Nick Melotte's observations of game 5 of the Southern League Championship against Bil...
Full topic ›

Opening Day 25 man roster

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:42 PM
With the 2015 season all but over, might as well look forward to 2016, put together your 25 man roster on opening day next year. Please d...
Full topic ›

Mark Buehrle retiring

Other Baseball Today, 08:57 PM
Just saw an article saying that Mark Buehrle is going to retire after he pitched tomorrow. He said he just wants to pitch 2 innings so he...
Full topic ›
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

What to Watch in 2012: Pavano's Strikeouts

When the Twins acquired Carl Pavano in August of 2009, his fastball was averaging almost 91 miles per hour and he was striking out 16 percent of the batters he faced. In two seasons since, his velocity has dropped by two miles per hour and his K-rate has descended steadily, to 13 percent in 2010 and 11 percent in 2011.

Attached Image: carlpavano.jpg Among qualifying major-league starters, only Brad Penny had a lower K/9 mark last year than Pavano's 4.1. A lack of whiffs isn't necessarily a death knell, especially when you can limit walks and homers, and Pavano's propensity for pitching to contact has helped him efficiently rack up 220 innings in consecutive years, but in order to succeed with this style a pitcher needs help from his defense and a certain measure of luck.
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]Last year Pavano didn't benefit much in those areas; nor did his staff mates, as the Twins finished with the worst defensive efficiency (converting batted balls into outs) in all of baseball. While the club's fielding is expected to improve this season, it would take a rather drastic turnaround for it to be considered a strength.

Pavano has been a fairly extreme ground ball pitcher in each of the past two years, so infield defense will likely be a key factor in his success. Around the diamond, the Twins will be relying on a third baseman who was repeatedly scolded for his passive defensive approach last year, a shortstop who's 38 and spent much of his career as a utility man, a mistake-prone second baseman with a reputation for losing focus, and a first baseman who's looked foggy in the field since being concussed.

In other words, if Pavano's strikeout rate continues to slide, it's a good bet that he'll once again rank among the most hittable pitchers in all of baseball. He may be able to overcome that and hold value as a serviceable innings eater, but it's not a label you want attached to your Opening Day starter and de facto No. 1.

The Twins have plenty of uncertainty in their 2012 rotation, so more than ever they'll be counting on Pavano -- whose 443 innings over the past two years lead all Twins pitchers by more than 100 -- to be that veteran rock. In order to to excel, it is essential that he take matters into his own hands and find a way to start missing a few more bats.

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email