The Core Four, once whittled down to two with the retirement of Jorge Posada in January, added back a member yesterday when Andy Pettitte announced that he is coming out of retirement to pitch for the Yankees. It was shocking to me – the kind of news that made me run from my sports room seclusion to the kitchen and yell at my wife, “You will never guess who the Yankees just signed!”. She didn’t guess. No one could have guessed. But not only was I shocked, I was ecstatic. Andy Pettitte had always been one of my favorite Yankees. From my first memory of his pitching in 1996 to the clinching win of the 2009 World Series, Andy was clutch when it mattered most. Now the all time post-season leader in wins, starts, and innings pitched may just get a chance to build on those stats, as well as his 240 regular season wins.
The addition of Pettitte of course brings the question of what will the Yankees do with the surplus of starting pitching they now have? More than likely Pettitte wont be available until May, and he will not be added to the active roster until he is ready, so that gives the Yankees some time to plan. C.C. Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda seem to be the only locks for the rotation, so competition for the other spots will be between Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Phil Hughes, and Freddy Garcia. Nova, Pineda and Hughes all have options so the Yankees have that available to them if needed. My guess is that all seven pitchers will be on the roster come May. You can never have too much starting pitching, and you never know when someone is going to get hurt.
The move is a relatively risk free one for the Yankees as well. Pettitte’s contract is for one year $2.5 million, with no incentives. If it works out well for New York it is a huge bargain, and if not, not much is lost. Obviously I love the move. I did not want to see Andy retire in the first place, and with this addition to the rotation the Yankees depth in pitching is tremendous. They are built for a run this year with experience in Sabathia, Kuroda, Pettite and Garcia, and for the future with Hughes, Nova, and Pineda, as well as their young guns Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. It is going to be a fun season.
Here are some links to some of the Pettitte stories from around Yankees Universe:
Pettitte’s itch to pitch.
A move the boss would love.
Pettitte move has its risks.
Comeback risky for Pettitte
Garcia not thrilled with Pettitte return
Pettitte’s return a win-win
Non Andy Pettitte news and notes:
Derek Jeter out with tender calf
The Yanks will face Houston today in Tampa at 1:05 pm. Hiroki Kuroda is scheduled to take the mound.
The game will be televised on the YES Network and MLB Network and broadcast on WCBS Radio.
Here’s to a great day of baseball!