Veteran righty Carl Pavanohas been placed on the 15-day disabled list. The Twins made the move before Monday
night’s game and activated Nick Blackburn. Pavano’s diagnosis is listed as a right shoulder strain, but he will be evaluated further by team doctors and trainers to determine the extent of the injury.
Pavano is 2-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 starts this year for Minnesota. He is currently in the final year of a two-year, $16.5 million deal and in the midst of his fourth year overall with the Twins. Pavano has a career 108-107 record with a 4.39 ERA. He won a World Series ring with the Florida Marlins in 2003.
Nick Blackburn’s return comes on the heels of a strained left quad that he has been rehabbing for the last few weeks. Like Pavano, Blackburn had similar struggles leading up to his DL stint. He is 1-4 with a 8.37 ERA in seven starts this year. Blackburn, who has spent his entire career with the Twins and becomes a free agent after the 2013 season, has record below .500 (40-50) and an uninspiring ERA of 4.67 in his five plus seasons in the Majors.
The Twins, who have battled injuries all season long, are in last place in the American League Central at 21-33, 10 games back of first place. Pavano’s injury surely won’t help them right the ship, but with Blackburn back and healthy, he may be able to turn his dismal start to the season into something positive going forward. Both Blackburn and Pavano will struggle though to crack 150 innings pitched this season, which of course puts a strain on the bullpen and other starters in the rotation. Blackburn has tossed 150 or more innings just three times in his career. Pavano has done so just five times in his 13 previous years in the league.