Friday, March 16, 2012

Andy is Back

According to Jack Curry who first broke the story, Andy Pettitte has signed a 1-year minor league contract worth $2.5 million. This comes as a huge surprise as nobody expected Pettitte to come out of retirement. He was so set on spending time at home and decided not to return mid-season last year that everyone ruled him out to ever pitch in the major leagues again.

Pettitte has been throwing bullpens at his home in Texas, but feels that he still needs to get his legs to the standard that his arm is at. He feels that he could pitch very soon but Cashman has made it clear that Andy will not advance north with the team in April. Pettitte will get as much time as he needs to prepare and will probably make a couple of starts in the minors (probably at AA) before joining the Yankees starting rotation, which finds itself with many more pitchers than slots.

This brings another question into play: who will be the odd man out? It's difficult to predict where pitchers will be in April by the time Pettitte returns to the Bronx, but make no mistake; Andy Pettitte will be part of that rotation. The move that make most sense would be to send Nova or Pineda to the minors, probably more likely Pineda than Nova, so Pineda can regain his fastball velocity and continue to work on his changeup, which has progressed well in ST. Girardi on the overcrowded rotation, "You never know. We might need all 7." The Yankees don't need to make any decisions right now, but it is sure to get interesting in April when they will have seven pitchers fighting for five spots. CC, Kuroda and Pettitte are the only locks in the rotation when Pettitte joins the Yankees.

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