Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte in the dugout against the Minnesota Twins at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Andy Pettitte Scheduled To Start Sunday For Yankees

Remember Andy Pettitte? He's back, with the New York Yankees, and will start for them Sunday against the Mariners.

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Andy Pettitte Will Start For Yankees Sunday

Andy Pettitte is attempting a comeback with the New York Yankees after sitting out the entire 2011 season, presumably retired. He’ll be 40 next month, and has made four starts in the Yankees’ minor league system. He did well at High-A, worse at Double-A, and he got hit pretty hard in Triple-A, as well as during a game at the Yankees’ extended spring-training camp.

It doesn’t sound very promising, but that was apparently enough for Yankees GM Brian Cashman:

There’s no word yet on the 25-man roster move that will be made to add Pettitte; he will also have to be added to the Yankees’ 40-man roster, which is currently full, so the team will have to move a player off that squad as well.

I’m sure ESPN would like to televise Pettitte’s return, but they are committed to showing the Rangers and Angels on Sunday night, and TBS, who also televises a national game on Sunday, has booked the Braves and Phillies.

Too bad, national TV networks! Only people in Seattle and New York (and those with national TV packages) will see Pettitte’s return.

For more on the Yankees, please visit Pinstripe Alley and SB Nation New York.


Andy Pettitte Roughed Up In Extended-Spring Game

I don't think anyone, much less the New York Yankees, thought that Andy Pettitte would sashay into camp after a year off and immediately force his way into the big-league rotation. Pettitte said he needed at least a month in the minors, and the Yankees were happy to give it to him.

But they might be getting a little nervous now. Just a little. From Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:

On the one hand, you have to love the strikeout/walk ratio. On the other hand, these were teenagers and 20-somethings we're talking about. If Pettitte is supposed to face the Adrian Gonzalezes and Jose Bautistas of the world, he'll need to show that he can handle the prospects of the world first.

Worth noting: Yankees manager Joe Girardi suggested the weather played a factor. If spring stats don't mean much, and the small-sample stats of a rehab effort don't mean much, then the stats accrued in an extended-spring game really shouldn't mean much. But seeing as the Yankees have already made a rotation move today -- removing Freddy Garcia in favor of David Phelps -- they might be getting just a little antsy about Pettitte. Just a little.


Andy Pettitte Moves To Double-A, Struggles

The first two games of Andy Pettitte's comeback were about what you'd expect from a (possible) future Hall of Famer facing kids in high-A, as he pitched quite well. His first stop in AA presented more of a speed bump. From Bob Klapisch:

In a 84-pitch outing, Pettitte surrendered four runs (three earned), seven hits and struck out three. It might’ve looked like the same old Andy to the untrained eye - the cap pulled down low, the big leg kick, the hard, biting cutter - but he wasn’t nearly the same pitcher who the Yankees last saw in 2010.

After touching 90 m.p.h. in his previous outings, Pettitte averaged 86 m.p.h. in this outing, and he was frustrated with the results.

Pettitte was in the middle of the plate so many times, he admitted, "I got away with a lot of pitches that were mistakes ... I don’t feel the strength is there yet."

There's extra scrutiny on Pettitte's comeback now that right-hander Michael Pineda is out for the season, but it doesn't seem like the Yankees are going to rush him.


Andy Pettitte Scoreless In 4-Inning Minor-League Tuneup

Phil Hughes hasn't gone five innings in either of his starts. Michael Pineda is recovering from shoulder problems. Freddy Garcia has thrown five wild pitches in four innings. Andy Pettitte is pitching well for the Tampa Yankees. These are all loosely related.

Pettitte pitched four innings in his latest outing for Class-A Tampa, allowing just two hits and striking out five. The lefty also induced a double play, so he finished his four innings having thrown to one batter over the minimum. He'll rejoin the Yankees soon, but not that soon:

It's only his second minor-league start and Girardi said, "Usually you give a guy six starts." It's unclear where Pettitte will pitch in his next outing, but he likely will increase his workload by about 15 pitches, Girardi said.

Pettitte will make at least one more start in Tampa, according to Brian Cashman. After that, he'll likely join the Trenton Thunder to complete his tuneup.


Andy Pettitte Throws 3 Innings For Tampa Yankees

The last time Andy Pettitte threw for the Tampa Yankees, it was a rehab start in 1999. On Monday, the left-handed veteran went back to his not-really-roots, throwing three innings for the high-A team, allowing a run and two hits.

From MLB.com:

"This was a short sample, a short outing, and I feel like maybe I didn't get a chance to throw some of the pitches that I would like to have thrown and work on some of the sequences that I would have liked, because I was getting guys out early in counts," Pettitte said.

"But all in all, I feel real comfortable with everything, so it was another good step."

Pettitte threw 32 pitches, and 26 of them were strikes. His next scheduled start is Sunday, as the Yankees (the New York ones) are hoping he can join the team in May.

So, uh, no pressure, Freddy. Just go out there tonight like it's a normal start. No pressure.


Andy Pettitte Could Pitch For The Yankees On Wednesday

Andy Pettitte, who retired from the Yankees after the 2010 season, signed a contract with the team a little more than two weeks ago. At the time, the general consensus was that Pettitte would not be ready to pitch in an actual game until early May.

Six weeks might have become two-and-a-half. Wallace Matthews:

On Sunday, Joe Girardi made it sound as if the idea was off the table, but on Monday it was solidly back on: The possibility that the comebacking Andy Pettitte might pitch Wednesday at The Boss in the Yankees’ spring training finale against the Mets.

“I think he’s going to pitch in a game for us,‘’ Girardi said before tonight’s game against the Marlins in Miami. "We’re going to have to see the exact date on that.’’

Freddy Garcia, now penciled in as the Yankees’ fifth starter, will start that game, but Matthews writes that Pettitte could throw an inning or two in relief. The Yankees’ rotation appears full at this point, but a healthy and productive Pettitte could easily push his way back in. You can never have too many good starting pitchers.

For more on the Yankees and Pettitte, please visit Pinstripe Alley and SB Nation New York.


Andy Pettitte Six Weeks Away, According To Andy Pettitte

Andy Pettitte signed a contract with the New York Yankees. Remember that? It happened last week, and it was kind of a big deal. Maybe you were off the grid. In that case, Andy Pettitte signed a contract with the New York Yankees. It happened last week.

Obviously, by waiting this long, Pettitte's going to be behind everybody else. He's not just going to end up in the Yankees' rotation from the get-go. About how far away is Andy Pettitte from being in regular-season shape? Let's ask Andy Pettitte:

On the one hand, six weeks is pretty specific. On the other hand, Pettitte has been a professional baseball player for so long that he probably has a good idea of how he'll progress. Six weeks, and let's give or take a week, to be safe.

Unless something goes wrong, the Yankees can count on having Andy Pettitte available as a starter by the beginning or middle of May. That gives them time to figure out how to make space. Making space won't be the easiest thing Brian Cashman's ever done, but there are worse problems. Boy are there ever worse problems than trying to find room for Andy Pettitte in your starting rotation.


Does Andy Pettitte's Year Off Mean Anything?

Does history tell us anything about Andy Pettitte's attempted comeback after a one-season break?


ESPN: Andy Pettitte Should Be An Upgrade For Yankees

It's a tricky thing to predict how Andy Pettitte is going to pitch after a year off, and that's assuming that he'll pitch at all for the New York Yankees. But Dan Szymborski dusted off his abacus and took a shot at a ZiPS projection. The conclusion:

I asked the ZiPS projection system (which contains data of pitchers who have missed time throughout history) to project Pettitte for 2012 and it puts him at ... a solid, league-average performance. (His projected) ERA is better than the 4.85 and 4.84 ERAs projected for Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes respectively.

It's an ESPN Insider piece, so I didn't want to give the entire projection away, but it's as good as guess as we have to go on, and it sounds about right. Looking for Cy Young votes? That's a few years in the past. But looking for league-average innings from the fifth or sixth starter on your staff? Pettitte is probably a good bet.

At the very least, he'll help the Yankees avoid the "Maybe they'll trade for Bruce Chen before the 162nd game of the season" nonsense that plagued the Red Sox last season.


Andy Pettitte Deal: Talk Radio Helps Bring Him Out Of Retirement

Talk radio actually made a difference for a baseball team. The discussion of a potential roster acquisition -- a random, ludicrous suggestion from one person to another on sports-talk radio -- actually made a difference in the real world. This is 90210: The Musical Miniseries Event winning a dozen Emmys and President Stephen Baldwin's inaugural address rolled into one. This is the most surprising thing in the history of history.

Brian Cashman was on ESPN New York 1050 with Michael Kay. At some point, the conversation turned to Andy Pettitte. Cashman didn't recoil in horror or say something like, "I'm pretty sure he's fat and content, Michael." He told Kay that he would always be open to a Pettitte comeback. And according to ESPN New York, Pettitte heard this:

"Andy called me at sometime in late December," Cashman said. "He said, 'I heard about your interview with Michael Kay and it really got my juices flowing. He said, 'Hey, I heard about your interview on Michael and it got me thinking about it. I 'd like to work out and see where it takes me."

From there, Pettitte started working out and training for a possible comeback. This was in the days before Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda, though, so there was more of a chance that Pettitte could make a difference. After the pair of deals, though, the Yankees told Pettitte that there was no more room in the budget for a starting pitcher.

Pettitte came to camp as a special instructor, but he was a mole with a secret agenda.

The following Tuesday morning, Cashman organized a secret 7:30 a.m. bullpen session, attended by Cashman, Girardi, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Stick Michael.

Secret bullpen sessions. Subterfuge. Cloak and dagger. Possibly a cutter or two. And suddenly Andy Pettitte is back with the Yankees. Of all the dramatic things.

And it all started with some sports-talk radio. The next time you hear a caller suggest a Mark Teixeira-for-Prince Fielder trade on the air, don't be so catty. People are listening. Important people.


Andy Pettitte To Join Yankees Camp Soon

I don't know about you, but I woke up to the news that Andy Pettitte was making a comeback with the Yankees. Now imagine somebody on vacation, completely off the grid. Doesn't have his phone, not using the Internet. He'll come home next week, and Andy Pettitte won't just be making a comeback; Andy Pettitte will already be busy in camp. That's going to come as a shock, to that traveling person.

In a matter of days, Andy Pettitte's going to be all back to normal. Familiar players, familiar workouts, familiar scene. Pettitte's going to be behind everyone else, and he'll have to go through a full spring training where his teammates are well underway, but if things go according to plan, Pettitte's return to a major-league mound might not be far off:

According to reports, there aren't any incentives in Pettitte's contract. He gets $2.5 million. If he's Andy Pettitte, or anything close to Andy Pettitte, he'll be worth more than that. It remains to be seen how the Yankees might fit a healthy Pettitte into the rotation, but don't feel bad for them. I think they'll be okay.


Could Andy Pettitte Be Any Good?

The Yankees have some concerns about Michael Pineda in the early going, and Freddy Garcia is presently injured. Enter Andy Pettitte, who's signed a(n expensive) minor-league contract after working out all secret-like:

The big question now is, at nearly 40 years old, could Andy Pettitte be any good for the Yankees, or is this a bigger deal in words than it'll be on the field?

Obviously, we can't say anything for sure. Pettitte is getting up there in years, and he hasn't pitched in a meaningful game since October 2, 2010. He retired for a full season, and he's going to take a while to work himself back into shape.

But once he's back into shape ... in Pettitte's most recent season, he started 21 games and posted a 3.28 ERA and a 3.85 FIP. He posted a lower FIP in 2010 than guys like Edwin Jackson and Ricky Nolasco. In Pettitte's most recent three seasons, he posted a 4.09 ERA and an FIP in the high 3s. His fastball didn't lose any bite. None of his pitches lost any bite. Andy Pettitte just kept on being Andy Pettitte.

So there's clearly reason for hope. It's been a long time since Andy Pettitte last pitched, but when he last pitched, he was effective in an American League starting rotation. When Pettitte's body and arm are where he wants them to be, the Yankees might be faced with the kind of problem that every team executive wants to face: they might have too many quality pitchers.

We'll worry about the over-staffing if and when the Yankees are over-staffed. For now, Pettitte's back, and he could be all right.


When Andy Pettitte Retired

You've heard by now that Andy Pettitte is back with the New York Yankees, having signed a minor-league contract. That's why you're here. I figured this is a good opportunity to reflect on some of the things that Pettitte said when he announced his retirement more than a year ago.

I'll pull from here:

"It just didn't feel right for me anymore. I didn't have the hunger, the drive that I felt like I needed," Pettitte said with his wife, Laura, seated by his side.

"I know that my body would get to where it needs to be, but my heart's not where it needs to be," he said.

He also said that he would sit out for the entire 2011 season, but left open the possibility of returning to the mound in the future.

"I can tell you one thing: I am not going to play this season. I can tell you that 100 percent," he said. "But I guess you can never say never."

Andy Pettitte must have gotten his drive back. The snarky thing to say would be that Pettitte retired in part to spend more time with his family, and now he's grown sick of his family. More fairly, you just can't predict what a little time off might do for the soul. And he was right about that 100 percent, and never saying never.


Andy Pettitte Returning To New York Yankees

Andy Pettitte has come out of retirement to sign a $2.5 million minor-league deal with the New York Yankees.

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