His resume speaks for itself. 19 playoff wins, 240 career regular season wins, five World Series titles, and three All-Star game appearances.
Yes, Andy Pettitte is back in pinstripes. At 39-years old.
Don’t know what to think of this recent development. With news that the New York Yankees were concerned with the velocity dip taken by Michael Pineda and their trade of A.J. Burnett to the Pirates you almost feel as though this was the perfect storm for Pettitte to make his return.
The question is, why? Some players can’t walk away from the game. Some leave the game on someone else’s decision kicking and screaming for an opportunity to prove they still have something left. When Pettitte announced his retirement, I didn’t get that feeling from him. I got the feeling of a player who had done a lot for his team on the mound and was done with the questions regarding his PED use, and, even more, questions regarding the trial he is set to participate in involving former teammate/friend Roger Clemens.
Despite what I think, here we are discussing the very real possibility that Pettitte, an original “Core Four” member, could be a member of the Yankees rotation.
It seems that reports out of Tampa, where the Yankees spring training facilities are located, are that Pettitte is in a good place and ready to go. It is hard to even begin to speculate the statistical impact Pettitte will have on this season until he is ready to pitch against live competition. One thing I’ll be looking for is how he spots his pitches and his control of the breaking pitches. When he retired his fastest pitch topped out at about 89-90 and you have to imagine after a layoff it hasn’t gotten much faster. Location will be of the utmost importance.
I can’t imagine the Yankees are banking on Pettitte, but they hope he can bring some value to a rotation that suddenly has become a question.