Andy Pettitte will once again pitch for the New York Yankees. Back on February 4, 2011 when he announced his retirement at a Yankee Stadium press conference he left the door open to come back when he said " I wouldn't say that I wouldn't consider maybe pitching again." This winter he was invited to spring training as an honorary coach to help out, but I guess after spending some time in camp with his old teammates and throwing some batting practices he still has the itch to pitch. I wouldn't expect to see a Roger Clemens Brett Favre "dog and pony" show here.
Sometime this past December Yankees GM Brian Cashman was quoted saying, " Andy Pettitte can still pitch. But I respect his choice to retire I wouldn't want to push him." Not soon after Pettitte's agent Randy Hendricks called Cashman to say, " Andy's going to be calling you." Cashman asked, " to pitch ? " to which Pettitte's agent replied " maybe." Pettitte called Cashman to tell him he has been working out and thinking about pitching. He asked would the Yankees sign him ? Cashman told the 39 year old lefty " we don't know we just traded for Micheal Pineda." Pettitte told Cashman, " you do what you have to do to make us better." " I'm going to work out for six weeks and see how I feel. I'll call you back." I guess he feels good.
Pettitte, a five time World Series Champion and three time All-Star will be forty in June signed a minor league deal worth $ 2.5 million dollars. In his 16 year career he has a record of 240-138, an ERA of .388 with 2251 strike outs in 3055.1 innings. Always known as a big game pitcher he has a post season record of 19-10 with an ERA of 3.83 with 173 strike outs in 263 innings.
As far as I'm concerned, It' nice to see him back. It's a low risk investment for the Yankees. Pettitte will spend some time in the minors down in Tampa getting back in baseball shape. I think he will do more than just pitch to help the team. At the very least he will help with the development of young pitchers such as Manny Banuelos who Pettitte admired this spring. There are few question here to ask. Who's going to be the odd man out on this pitching staff ? Will someone be traded ? Will Phil Hughes move to the bullpen ? Does Micheal Pineda get sent down to Triple A ? Does Freddy Garcia get designated for assignment ? Can Nova repeat last years performance ? My gut tells me Kuroda doesn't make the adjustment to the American League and is sent packing. Well I guess we will wait and see what transpires. Other than CC Sabathia the rotation is up for grabs. The rest of the staff has what's left of spring training and however long Pettitte takes to get ready to step up their game and make a case for themselves. Nothing like to art of competition to earn a spot on a championship caliber team. And like I always say, "you can never have to much pitching."
Welcome back Andy !