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Carl Pavano gets a clean bill of health; outlook for the 2006 season

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  • Carl Pavano gets a clean bill of health; outlook for the 2006 season

    Let's see if he can turn it around this season, demonstrating that he can remain healthy, pitch well, and not demand any more trades after a dismal 2005 season.

    Thinking Positive
    Pavano, Yankees Still Have High Hopes

    January 18, 2006
    By DOM AMORE, Courant Staff Writer

    Sure, Carl Pavano was unhappy with the Yankees in 2005. His first season in New York, ended in midstream by a shoulder injury, wasn't the stuff for smiles.

    "If somebody wasn't unhappy with the way the year went, what would you think of that person?" Pavano said recently from his home in Florida.

    But Pavano is upbeat about his second season.

    "Last year, things didn't work out the way either of us hoped they would," he said, "but I think the future is going to hold a more positive story. ... I can't wait."

    Pavano, 30, a righthander from Southington, came to the Yankees with high expectations but was uncomfortable with the fanfare surrounding his free agency. Coming off a breakout season, he signed a four-year, $40 million contract with the team he and his family had cheered for generations.

    But he went 4-6 with a 4.77 ERA in 17 starts before shutting it down June 27 with a shoulder injury that took almost two months to diagnose.

    "We have high hopes for Carl," general manager Brian Cashman said. "We didn't see the real Carl Pavano. We saw a guy who was trying to get there, but he was hurt. He wasn't able to show us the real Carl Pavano. Everyone, every day, has to reaffirm their past in this game, try to get back to what they've done before."

    In November, when it was being reported that Pavano wanted to be traded, he called Cashman to say that he wanted to stay.

    "I think Carl needed to say that more than I needed to hear it," Cashman said.

    Publicly, Pavano stayed quiet.

    "I didn't feel I had to defend myself for something I never said," he said.

    As the offseason has worn on, Pavano's name has continued to surface in trade rumors. With center field filled by Johnny Damon and after adding four relief pitchers, the Yankees aren't looking for anything in particular. Cashman said he has no plans to move Pavano, but wouldn't rule it out.

    "As with any player who doesn't have a no-trade clause, I would listen if someone came up with something that might make us better," Cashman said. "That's the nature of the business."

    Said Pavano: "I really have no control over [trade rumors]. But I know I can do the job for the Yankees, I know I can help this team, and I'm confident that they feel the same way I feel."

    The source of Pavano's optimism is his health. In August, Dr. James Andrews determined Pavano had rotator cuff tendinitis and prescribed six weeks of rest. Pavano began a throwing program in October.

    "I've been throwing and training my butt off, like always," Pavano said.

    Jeff Mangold, the Yankees' strength and conditioning coach, has visited him and trainer Gene Monahan has been in contact by phone. Pavano has no interest in playing for the United States or Italy in the World Baseball Classic and plans to report to the Yankees' Tampa complex later this month, well in advance of the Feb. 14 reporting date for pitchers and catchers.

    Although nothing was said about it at the time, Pavano's '05 season was doomed in spring training, when he strained his back. He altered his pitching motion to compensate and hurt his shoulder.

    Through the early months, Pavano was up and down. He pitched a complete game shutout at Seattle in early May, throwing 133 pitches. But in subsequent starts, he tired before reaching 100 pitches. With the Marlins in 2004, Pavano was 18-8 with a 3.00 ERA in 2222/3 innings pitched, throwing 93-94 mph fastballs with movement. He had shut down the Yankees in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series, too, but the Yankees never saw that caliber of stuff last season. Pavano rarely threw as hard as 90 and allowed 129 hits in 100 innings. Pavano believed time and innings would strengthen the shoulder and he would come around. Still, the soreness never disappeared and he finally shut it down after a six inning start in Baltimore.

    For the next month, Pavano went through a frustrating series of throwing sessions and minor league rehab starts. Finally, the Yankees sent Pavano to Alabama to see Andrews, who made the diagnosis that finished his season.

    Pavano appeared uncomfortable with the large number of reporters following the Yankees, something the front office hopes will improve.

    "I don't think any [off the field issues] held him back," Cashman said. "It was all because he was hurt."

    He also had a falling out with agent Scott Shapiro and currently does not have a representative.

    As Pavano struggled, he was also adjusting to life as a high-profile New Yorker, a radical change from his previous addresses, including Southington, Montreal and Miami.

    "That was a big adjustment for me, learning how to get around in the city," Pavano said. "I'm a lot more comfortable with that now."

    Pavano has come to enjoy the lifestyle and wants to stay in his fashionable East Side building.

    "I grew up in an Italian family," Pavano said. "So I can appreciate brutal honesty. I'm as hard on myself when things go badly. You don't accomplish anything by lying to yourself about what's going on. They're the greatest fans in the world. Win or lose, they're always there for us."
    Last edited by Mattingly; 01-19-2006, 06:46 AM.
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
    Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
    THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
    Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004

  • #2
    Can you repost this? It came out so small that the typeface breaks up. Very hard to decipher. Thanks.


    • #3
      How's that?

      I usually post things in smaller type, since it saves space. If you'd like to read it in larger text, you can just click on the link.
      Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting. 2007-11 CBA
      Rest very peacefully, John “Buck” O'Neil (1911-2006) & Philip Francis “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
      THE BROOKLYN DODGERS - 1890 thru 1957
      Montreal Expos 1969 - 2004


      • #4
        Sounds very promising we could really use him in 2004 form!

        i think he will be able to turn around the '05 performance, not that he has been a great pitcher in his career but he is a great number 3 or 4 guy in this club!
        "I see no reason why a small-market team like the Twins or Expos can't continue to remain competitive, just because it lacks players," Selig said.


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