Carl Pavano still recovering from spleen removal, won’t pitch this season

15 Comments

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.

Astros block Detroit Free Press from clubhouse at Justin Verlander’s request

Getty Images
20 Comments

Last night a BBWAA-credentialed reporter from the Detroit Free Press was barred from the Houston Astros’ clubhouse by team security following the Tigers win over the Astros. The reporter — who was almost certainly Anthony Fenech, who covers the Tigers — was kept out at the request of Astros starter Justin Verlander. Here’s the scene as described by the Free Press. The article contains a photo, taken by Fenech, of the three Astros officials who blocked the door to prevent him access:

At 9:35 p.m., the Astros opened their clubhouse to credentialed media in coordination with MLB rules. As other media members entered the clubhouse, the Free Press reporter with a valid BBWAA-issued credential was blocked from entering by three Astros security officials . . . The reporter contacted Mike Teevan, MLB vice president of communications, who said he would immediately reach out to Dias regarding the issue. Dias eventually gave the reporter access to the clubhouse at 9:41 p.m., after Verlander’s media session had ended . . . Once inside, the reporter approached Verlander, who said: “I’m not answering your questions.” When asked to comment on Wednesday’s loss, Verlander walked away.

That after-the-fact access for the reporter came only after he called Major League Baseball who, in turn, called Astros officials, presumably, to tell them that they cannot bar credentialed media.

It’s unclear at the moment what the beef is between Verlander and either the Free Press or the reporter. For what it’s worth, I follow Fenech and, while he’s a bit more witty and, occasionally, cutting than your average beat reporter, he’s self-effacing and doesn’t do cheap shots. Though he talks often about former Tigers and has made a point to highlight Verlander’s post-Tigers career whenever relevant, to my knowledge he hasn’t said or done anything specific to tweak Verlander in the past.

I will note, though, that last night, about eight minutes before Fenech was barred access, the Free Press Twitter account sent this tongue-in-cheek tweet out. It’s unclear if he or someone else at the paper wrote it:

Maybe that pissed off Verlander, who is known to be active on social media and is usually pretty aware of what’s being said about him. Hard to say.

What’s easy to say, though, is that no matter what has hurt Verlander’s fragile ego, the Astros barring the reporter from the clubhouse is in blatant violation of the agreement between Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America, which ensures access for credentialed reporters. Verlander doesn’t have to talk to the guy — he doesn’t have to talk to anyone he doesn’t want to talk to — but the team honoring Verlander’s wishes to bar access is totally unacceptable and, frankly, about as low-rent as it gets from a media relations perspective.

We’ll probably hear more about this later today.