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Thread: Article: What to Watch in 2012: Pavano's Strikeouts

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    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Article: What to Watch in 2012: Pavano's Strikeouts


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    If I had a dime for all the bloggers who did not want Carl Pavano re-signed after his fantastic 2010 season, I would be very wealthy. Former GM Bill Smith made many bad trades in his five years but perhaps his best move was trading minor league pitcher Yohan Pino to the Indians for Carl Pavano in August 2009. Pavano has rewarded the Twins by staying healthy and threw over 220 innings in 2011 after signing a 2-year deal. The hope is Pavano continues to chew up innings and the defense is better behind him this year. The question is if Pavano has another good season will the Twins re-sign him again?

  3. #3
    This might be a *little* pessimistic. Valencia had a good defensive rookie year and a bad sophomore year; there's hope he'll revert to the mean. Casilla's fine so long as he's at second and not SS, Carroll is by all accounts competent if not amazing, and if Morneau is "foggy" he probably won't be playing at all. All of those would be improvements over last year. I think it's fair to expect average infield defense.

  4. #4
    My first comment on the new site - this is pretty awesome, kudos to you guys for getting this up and running.

    Despite the defense behind him, Pavano's FIP has remained remarkably consistent for the last three seasons (4.00, 4.02, 4.10). In addition, if you look deeper into his plate disciple stats available on FanGraphs, it's pretty interesting that Pavano has ranked among the league leaders in generating swings on pitches outside the strike zone (O-swing %). If you look at the leaders from last season, you'll see Fister, Nolasco, Haren, Garza, Halladay, Sabathia, and Pavano. One of these things certainly seems to be not like the others. However, if you then look at his O-contact percentage (hitters making contact on pitches outside the zone), there's been a steady increase from 69% in 2009, 71% in 2010, and 76% last year, which may help to partly explain his declining K rate. The most obvious reason for this would seem to be declining stuff - his pitch type value (a metric for "wins" generated by individual pitch types) for his slider decreased markedly from 2010 to 2011. I'm not enough of a pitchFX expert to actually know if his slider has lost movement or if there's something going on with his mechanics or release point (I'd look to someone like Parker for that) but just thought that was interesting. He's generating a similar number of swings outside the zone but those pitches are much more hittable.

  5. #5
    I have to believe the lack of defense behind Twins pitching had to contribute to some of the problems the staff had last year. Has to be hard to pitch when you know that routine plays are now an adventure.

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