If you want to be kind to Twins starter Carl Pavano, he hasn't been that different from how he was in 2011. Last year, he posted a 4.30 ERA, with a 4.10 FIP. This year, through 11 starts, he's posted a 4.29 FIP. His strikeout rate is a little up, and his walk rate is a little down. Indeed, according to some of the numbers, Pavano hasn't been that bad, if he's been bad at all.
But he's sitting on a 6.00 ERA, and he's been missing some fastball velocity. He's been missing some fastball velocity because he's been trying to pitch through shoulder discomfort. Pavano's shoulder has been an issue for weeks, and finally, it's forcing him to the disabled list:
Here's a note from less than a month ago:
Pavano is "feeling fantastic." Had a real good week. Might not get a cortisone shot after all. #Twins— Phil Mackey (@PMac21) May 18, 2012
It's unknown when Pavano might return, and as long as we're here, Pavano's in the second year of a two-year contract. As for Nick Blackburn, he's coming back to an 8.37 ERA. Prior to the season, the Twins would've been pleased to have Nick Blackburn enter June with an ERA between Francisco Liriano and Jason Marquis'. Francisco Liriano's ERA is 7.20. The Twins, man. Nick Blackburn isn't as bad as his numbers, but he'll never not be Nick Blackburn, so don't get too excited, where by "too excited" I mean "excited at all".