Pavano is more aware of it than ever because he turns 37 on Jan. 8. He hasn't pitched in a major league game since June 1 because of a shoulder injury. But the veteran is confident that hasn't happened yet and that he will pitch in 2013. Now that he has been diagnosed with a bone bruise in his humerus, the pain, weakness and lack of velocity that plagued him all year should go away, he said. "I think the velocity was really affected by the strength of that shoulder, the inflammation that was in there, so I feel like once that's out of there, it makes the whole joint stronger," he said. "From what the doctors told me, the bone bruise was just weakening the whole shoulder joint so much that even what I was able to get out of it was pretty surprising, strength-wise and being able to compete. But I feel like that will all be there (in 2013)." Pavano made 11 starts for the Twins despite pain and weakness in the shoulder that limited his velocity to an average of 86 mph, about 3 mph slower than he was throwing in 2011, when he went 9-13 with a 4.30 ERA and led the team with 222 innings. Despite the difference, he was able to compete this season but not very well, going 2-5 with a 6.00 ERA. With only left-hander Scott Diamond (11-6, 3.35 ERA) looking like a lock for the 2013 rotation, the Twins will be looking hard for starting pitching this winter and general manager Terry Ryan has said he would count neither Pavano nor Scott Baker, who had Tommy John surgery in April, out as possibilities. "Well, you know we'll need starting pitching, so we'll take everything into consideration as we go through the fall and the winter and see where we're at," he said. "Those two guys are quite different in age and their careers, and the severity of the injury. Baker's is much more severe that Carl's. I guess you take all that into consideration. I guess it's fairly apparent we need starting pitching." Pavano said he's open, as well. He made $8.5 million this season in the last year of a two-year extension signed after 2010. "You want to finish what you started, and I didn't get a chance to finish this year because of the injury," he said. "Those things happen. I don't know where the opportunity lies, but I know my focus and my preparation is about getting myself back and keeping myself conditioned and going into the offseason with the goal to be ready for spring training, to pitch. Those are my goals."
- Carl Pavano