As of a couple months ago Carl Pavano was trying to make a comeback after missing all of last season following a gruesome home accident in which he suffered a ruptured spleen, but now he’s ready to call it a career.
Pavano’s agent told Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors that the 38-year-old right-hander is retiring after 14 seasons in the majors, issuing the following statement:
Despite my strong desire to compete and hard work in preparing for the upcoming season I feel that the amount of time lost from my spleen injury, coupled with the recovery from my complications from that injury, preclude me from continuing to compete at my highest level, which is necessary to perform in the major leagues.
Pavano will probably forever be a punchline in New York for his injury-filled Yankees tenure, but he had a handful of very good seasons for the Marlins and Twins. He made an All-Star team in 2004, topped 200 innings four times, made 10 postseason appearances with a 2.51 ERA, was once traded for Pedro Martinez, and earned more than $70 million.
We last saw Brad Penny pitch with the Giants in a relief role at the end of the 2012 season. He was bothered for a few weeks in August into September by a shoulder impingement, which prompted him to take the 2013 season off. However, he has been throwing and according to Troy Renck, he has been throwing well. Renck suggests the right-hander might make for a good risk-free signing.
Penny, however, is 35 years old, coming off of a year-long break, and hasn’t shown even a competent ability to miss bats since 2011. In 181.2 innings in 2011, Penny struck out just nine percent of batters faced, which was the worst rate among all qualified starters — markedly worse than Carl Pavano’s 10.7 percent strikeout rate in second-place. In 28 innings in 2012, he struck out 7.5 percent of batters. He lost about 2 MPH on all of his pitches since 2010 as well, which likely explains the inability to miss bats.
Some guys come back from arm trouble. Some guys come back after a premature retirement. Carl Pavano is trying to come back from a ruptured friggin’ spleen. An injury that, though I was fully aware of it at the time, I apparently blocked out of my memory because, man, that sounded awful. Indeed, it could have killed him.
Anyway, after a year off — and, it must be noted a year before that of highly ineffective pitching — Pavano is thinking comeback. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish says that Pavano has been building up arm strength and may be working toward a showcase for interested teams.
Could be interesting I guess. Before his injury last winter there were multiple teams interested in his services despite his ugly 2012 season.
You may remember that Carl Pavano ruptured his spleen in January when he fell while shoveling snow in his driveway at his home in Vermont. It was a very serious situation, as he ended up having his spleen removed and considered himself “lucky to be alive.” Months later, he isn’t any closer to resuming his baseball career.
Pavano’s agent, Dave Pepe, told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com today that his client hasn’t been able to begin working out and will not pitch this season. However, he hasn’t ruled out making a comeback next year.
“Carl will not be physically able to play this year as he recovers from his spleen removal and the complications that followed,” Pepe said via text. “His hope is that he can give it a try next year.”
Pavano was limited to 11 starts with the Twins last season due to a shoulder injury and posted a 6.00 ERA and 33/8 K/BB ratio over 63 innings. He turns 38 next January. The most important thing is having a normal life moving forward, but he might get a spring training invite if he can prove his health.
Carl Pavano was a guest on MLB Network Radio and told the story of how he ruptured his spleen while shoveling his driveway, which led to having his spleen removed and losing 35 pounds.
It’s pretty crazy and you can listen to the interview via the player below:
Dap to my main man Parker Hageman for pointing out the audio clip.