A statistical look at the Lions, Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings, Spartans and Wolverines

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Know thy enemy: Carl Pavano

Carl Pavano is opposing us today. He was always a pitcher that interested me, especially after his great 2004 season with the Marlins and his great postseason work in 2003 on their run to the title. Unfortunately, his numerous injuries during his days with the Yankees robbed him of his prime.

This year, he has returned to being at least a respectable back of the rotation starter. He has a 5.66 ERA, but he has peripheral numbers that suggest his ERA should decline as the year goes on. He does allow a .303 batting average against but his FIP of 4.36 comes with a real high BABIP of .335 and a criminally low LOB % of just 63.2%. His K/BB rate of 3.82 is outstanding. In other words, do not just look at his ERA when evaluating his pitching this year. Even with his drop in velocity in recent years, his peripheral numbers would suggest that he has rebounded nicely from the injuries. He could be a guy that Jeremy Bonderman could look to and mirror his style.

Pavano is a three pitch pitcher with a fastball, change, and slider. Both his slider and change have been plus pitches this year. Pavano has reverse splits this year with right handers hitting for a better OPS than lefties do against him. Ordonez, Inge and Everett all have an OPS above .800 against him, and both Clete Thomas and Ryan Raburn had good games against him earlier this year. It will be interesting to see what Leyland does today with Ordonez. With the reverse splits and decent career numbers, Maggs could potentially get the call.

Pavano has already face us twice this year and both times he faced off against Armando Galaragga. Both results were the same. Pavano pitched 7 innings in one start and 7.1 in the other while only allowing 2 ER in each of the two starts. He also has yet to issue a walk against us this year in 14.1 IP. After losing both of his last starts against us by one run, one would think that the third time would be the charm today for Armando Galaragga and the Tigers. Right?

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