Carl Pavano underwent an MRI exam a month ago after complaining of shoulder soreness and was diagnosed with a strain.
He pitched through it with diminished velocity and horrible results, allowing 24 runs in 24 innings with a .370 opponents’ batting average in his last five starts, and today the Twins finally shut him down.
Pavano has been placed on the disabled list with an anterior capsular strain and the Twins activated Nick Blackburn from the DL to take his spot in the rotation beginning Wednesday versus the Royals.
Blackburn, who in the past also had terrible results when trying to pitch through arm problems, has been out since May 16 with a quadriceps injury. Blackburn was hardly impressive during a brief minor-league rehab assignment and has a 5.31 ERA in 343 innings dating back to 2010, but it’ll be tough to perform any worse than Pavano.
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.