Friday, August 7, 2009

Carl Pavano

The Twins have finally addressed their pitching issues by nabbing Carl Pavano from the Indians. While Pavano sports an ugly 5.37 ERA that doesn't look like much of an improvement, his FIP is a much more encouraging 4.26. This was a necessary move, as the starting rotation was suddenly beginning to look like one of the worst in a long time, and I think Pavano will be better than whoever's spot he takes.

Whose will it be, though? Scott Baker obviously stays, and Nick Blackburn is a virtual certainty too, but that still leaves three options to move to the bullpen: Francisco Liriano, Glen Perkins, and Anthony Swarzak. Swarzak has the best numbers of the three, but he's also right-handed and the newbie. Liriano and Perkins have both pitched pretty badly over a good number of starts, so it's all a matter of guesswork which one of those two has the edge.

We do know, however, who is leaving the Twins to make room, and it's R.A. Dickey. After a hot start that lasted through June, Dickey had a 2.45 ERA, 31-to-17 K:BB ratio, 40 hits allowed, and a 53% groundball rate in 40 innings. In the last month-plus though, he's posted a 9.30 ERA, 11-to-13 K:BB ratio, allowed 34 hits, and induced only 36.3% groundballs.

While this move doesn't inspire great confidence in me, something clearly needed to be done in regard to the pitching staff, and this was definitely an improvement.

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