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.

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