Friday, May 18, 2012

Welcome Back Andy Pettitte

Christmas comes early in the Bronx. Fresh off testifying in his buddy Roger Clemens trial, Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte lands in the Bronx on Mothers Day. His arrival caused quite a stir within baseball circles. Yankees manager Joe Girardi says it best, “I’m excited” while speaking of Andy Pettitte’s return to the Yankees rotation, “I think it will be a great day at the stadium.”

Enough said.

The return of Andy Pettitte highlights a mediocre pitching staff who ranks 11th in the American League with 5.54 ERA. Aside from CC Sabathia, Yankees pitching has more suspects than a line up. Staffed with young pitchers like Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova, a veteran presence may help transform a fragile rotation.

Not so fast.

 Andy Pettitte had a 4.55 ERA in six starts…in the minors. Major League hitters are probably licking their lips while waiting for Andy Pettitte’s return. The first big league test comes on Mothers Day against hard hitting Seattle Mariners.

Some say Pettitte command was off in the minor league outings, as he gave up five runs in three innings and his fastball was clocked at 87-88 mph in his final dress rehearsal.

The 39 year old southpaw cashed in retirement coupons and signed for 2.5 million in March, so here we are, 10 weeks later anticipating his return to glory.

It will be very challenging for Andy Pettitte because he hasn’t pitched in a big league game since Game 3 of the 2010 ALCS against the Rangers, so we wait patiently.

Maybe losing Yankees All Star reliever Mariano Rivera helped speed up Andy Pettitte’s return to the mound? We’ll get to see the results of curiosity on Mothers Day. Ours and Andy’s.

Questions remain lingering in the Yankee clubhouse over who gets cut or demoted to make room for Andy Pettitte? Neither Cashman nor Girardi would confirm who would be bumped, although David Phelps sits in the line of fire.

Only one thing seems to be certain in statements by Yankees GM Brian Cashman “I think everybody is in agreement that Pettitte won’t benefit in the minors.”
Rightfully so. But is he ready for the Big Leagues?

That’s the questions you get when you…un retire. Welcome back Andy.

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