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Updated: July 17th, 2012 6:07pm
Carl Pavano to throw off mound Sunday; Twins' trade talks are 'active'

Carl Pavano to throw off mound Sunday; Twins' trade talks are 'active'

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Slowly but surely Carl Pavano continues to take steps toward a return.

After finishing a flat-ground throwing session from 150 feet on Tuesday, Carl Pavano said the plan was for him to throw off a mound on Sunday for the first time since his last start on June 1.

"It's like a mini spring training. ... It just takes a while to break yourself in," Pavano said.

"It feels better, that's for sure. It feels better than what I was dealing with, and I just expect it to keep feeling better."

Pavano struggled with low velocity and a 6.00 ERA through the first two months of the season. He admitted shoulder discomfort bothered him as far back as spring training, but he elected to pitch through it until he couldn't anymore.

"It's just getting the strength," Pavano said. "The pain was because of the lack of strength, so now that I've got strength in there the repetition of throwing, combined with the strength of the shoulder, should handle the volume -- when before, the strength wasn't there, so the repetition of throwing was wearing the shoulder out more, which was causing pain and inflammation and the injury."

Pavano considers Sunday a big day, "because this is what I've been working toward every day. ... Throwing on the flat ground isn't the same as getting off the mound. You're not leveraging your arm, you're not using your arm in a way where if there's somethings that are going on in it that usually exposes it. Getting through that will be another good step in knowing it's behind us."

After four injury-plagued seasons in New York, Pavano turned himself into one of baseball's most durable workhorses over the past few seasons. Behind the scenes Pavano talks a lot about pitches per inning and keeping his pitch counts low so he can go deep into games.

Being on the sidelines the last few weeks has been tough for him to stomach.

"I think as a starting pitcher that should be your goal, making every start and throwing a lot of innings. That's what teams need," Pavano said. "The success that comes along with it is a plus. I don't think you could throw a lot of innings and not quantify it as some sort of success. Unfortunately I've had quite a few injuries that have taken me away from the bulk of work that I should be doing."

Trade talks 'active,' Ryan says

With the trade deadline just two weeks away, Twins general manager Terry Ryan said in an interview with 1500 ESPN's "Judd & Phunn Show" Tuesday that talks are "active."

Ryan was mostly tight-lipped when asked about specific players, but he did say, "If I can't get pitching back and if I'm looking to move somebody, I'm going to probably have to change my mindset. I'd rather have pitching. ... We've got pitching ills."

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Carl Pavano