YANKEES RE-SIGN LHP ANDY PETTITTE
The New York Yankees today announced they have re-signed LHP Andy Pettitte to a one-year minor-league contract with an invitation to Major League spring training.
Pettitte, 39, owns a career record of 240-138 (.635) with a 3.88 ERA (3,055.1 IP, 1,317 ER) in 479 starts over 16 Major League seasons with the Yankees (1995-2003 and ‘07-10) and Houston Astros (2004-06). He is one of just 26 pitchers all-time to be 100-or-more games over .500. Of the 19 Hall of Fame-eligible pitchers who have reached that plateau, only “Parisian” Bob Caruthers, who went 218-99 from 1884-92, is not enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Originally selected by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, Pettitte has pitched 13 seasons with the club, going 203-112 with a 3.98 ERA (2,535.2 IP, 1,122 ER) and 1,823 strikeouts in 405 games (396 starts). In franchise history, he ranks second in strikeouts and starts, third in wins, fourth in innings pitched and eighth in appearances (405). He has appeared in eight career World Series (seven as a Yankee), winning championships with the Yankees in 1996, ‘98, ’99, 2000 and ‘09.
Among active pitchers currently in a Major League camp, he ranks second in wins, starts and strikeouts, third in innings pitched and sixth in winning percentage (min. 140 decisions).
Pettitte is the all-time winningest pitcher in postseason history, going 19-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 42 career starts. He also ranks first all time in postseason starts and innings pitched (263.0), and is tied for second with 173 strikeouts.
The left-hander last appeared in the Majors in 2010 with the Yankees, going 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA (129.0 IP, 47 ER) in 21 starts and earning an All-Star team selection. His .786 winning percentage was the highest of his career, the best in the AL and the third-highest in the Majors. In the 2010 postseason, he went 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA (14.0 IP, 4 ER) in two combined starts at Minnesota in ALDS Game 2 on October 7, 2010 (W, 7.0 IP, 2 ER) and vs. Texas in ALCS Game 3 on October 18, 2010 (L, 7.0 IP, 2 ER).
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Pettitte, a three-time All-Star (1996, 2001, ’10) and 2001 ALCS MVP, holds the distinction of being the only pitcher in Major League history to post a record of .500 or better while making at least 15 starts in each of the first 16 seasons of his career. He also posted a winning record in each of the first 13 seasons of his career (1995-2007), marking the third-longest such streak to begin a career all time, trailing only Hall of Famers Grover Cleveland Alexander (17) and Cy Young (15).
The Yankees are a little bit banged up these days, though fortunately there don’t appear to be any serious injuries. Derek Jeter was scratched from today’s lineup with a sore left calf, but he said he’d be playing if it were the regular season (surprise, surprise, I know). Russell Martin was supposed to catch seven or eight innings today but he, too, is out with soreness — Martin’s left groin is bothering him. They’re also giving Nick Swisher an extra day while a cast of others (Eduardo Nunez, Ramiro Pena and Freddy Garcia) mend their bumps and bruises.
Here is today’s lineup:
Ian Desmond SS
Steve Lombardozzi 3B
Mark DeRosa 1B
Wilson Ramos DH
Jesus Flores C
Jason Michaels LF
Brett Carroll RF
Bryce Harper CF
Andres Blanco 2B
Pitching: Gio Gonzalez LHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Andruw Jones RF
Raul Ibanez DH
Francisco Cervelli C
Bill Hall LF
Doug Bernier SS
Pitching: CC Sabathia LHP (0-0, 1.80)
Also scheduled to pitch: Phil Hughes RHP, Mariano Rivera RHP, Rafael Soriano RHP.
TAMPA, Fla. — Derek Jeter has a sore left calf and will not play until Tuesday, manager Joe Girardi said this morning. Jeter went through a full workout yesterday but Girardi got a call as the team was returning from Viera, Fla. about the injury. Jeter has been instructed not to do anything on the field today.
The calf is not the same as the one Jeter injured last June, stalling his pursuit of the 3,000 hit milestone.
“He said it was stiff, tender,” Girardi said. “I remember what happened last year, even though that was a different calf. We’re just being cautious.”
Jeter always fights to stay in the lineup during the regular season, but Girardi said that isn’t as much the case during the spring.
“I tried to prep him before I told him that he wasn’t going to probably play until Tuesday,” Girardi said. “I said, ‘Remember what happened last year.’ I think he understands that it’s Spring Training.”
Russell Martin was also scheduled to catch seven or eight innings today against the Nationals but has soreness in his left groin. Girardi said that he wasn’t sure when Martin would catch again.
Girardi added that Nick Swisher’s left groin was feeling better, but said he would rest him at least another day as a precaution.
“We’re getting a little nicked up right now,” Girardi said.
Bobby Valentine’s leadership has clearly provided the Red Sox with the upper hand in the New York-Boston rivalry, as the new manager washed away all remaining thoughts about fried chicken, beer and the September 2011 collapse with a crushing 1-0 Grapefruit League victory over the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Not buying it? Yeah, you shouldn’t be. While it’s nice to see players wearing Yankees and Red Sox uniforms back on the field, the truth is that this night won’t mean a whole lot come April — or, really, in the morning. But it sure gives us something to talk about.
“This is a great rivalry, no matter who the pieces are in place,” Joe Girardi said before the game. “Whether I’m here or not, it’s a great rivalry. When Yogi (Berra) played or moved on to Mickey (Mantle) or when I played with Bernie (Williams), it’s always been a great rivalry.”
In the visiting dugout, Valentine echoed similar thoughts, saying that the rivalry belonged to the players and he has just been invited to play a fractional part.
“It’s baseball at its finest, you know,” he said. “I remember the (2000) Subway Series when the Commissioner came in, he said, ‘This is the showcase of showcases, New York against New York playing baseball on our finest stage.’ And I think of that every time the Yankees and the Red Sox play. It’s an honor, it’s great.”
It’s going to be fun to see Valentine and Girardi go head to head this season; their personalities probably couldn’t clash more, and suffice it to say I don’t think they’ll be breaking bread anytime soon on Boston’s Newbury Street.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a different flavor because it’s a different manager,” Girardi said. “I’m sure people felt it was different when I came than when Joe (Torre) was here, because I’m a different human being. I don’t know what kind of spice it’s going to add, but we’re going to find out.”
What went right: Ivan Nova showcased much better command of all of his pitches in four scoreless innings. He loved his changeup; the Yankees liked his fastball location. … Mariano Rivera threw nine of 13 pitches for strikes in a scoreless fifth inning, breaking his first bat of the spring … Boone Logan pitched a clean sixth … the Yankees did not allow an earned run.
What went wrong: The bats were cold again, as Felix Doubront pitched four scoreless, two-hit innings. The Yankees managed just four hits. … Zoilo Almonte and David Adams committed errors on a ninth-inning play that led to the only run scored in the game, as Pedro Ciriaco singled and came around to score. … Eduardo Nunez felt pain in his right hand again and won’t pick up a bat until Saturday.
What they said: “The biggest burden, from what I gather, is trying to get your friends tickets. It really is, I hear. People have to turn away their relatives, and that’s a lousy way of going about a day’s work.” – Valentine, on the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.
What’s next: The Yankees are on the road Wednesday, traveling to Dunedin, Fla., for a 1:05 p.m. ET meeting with the Blue Jays. Right-hander Freddy Garcia will make his third spring start for New York and be opposed by right-hander Henderson Alvarez. The Yankees’ travel roster includes the starting infield of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira, plus Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher in the outfield.
Don’t expect to be seeing Derek Jeter dive into the stands tonight, but the Yankees and the Red Sox renew their classic rivalry for the first time in 2012 here at The Boss. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of reception Bobby Valentine gets here, just a few weeks removed from taking a couple of old-news swipes at Jeter’s flip play (really?) and Alex Rodriguez’s dust-up with Jason Varitek. My guess? I know you’ll be surprised at this, but not a very welcome one.
Here are the lineups, which could change depending on how Eduardo Nunez feels following batting practice.
RED SOX (6-2)
Mike Aviles SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Jacoby Ellsbury DH
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Lars Anderson 1B
Juan Carlos Linares CF
Josh Kroeger RF
Alex Hassan LF
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront (0-0, 9.00 ERA this spring)
Brett Gardner CF
Russell Martin C
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez DH
Andruw Jones RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Bill Hall 2B
Jayson Nix LF
Doug Bernier SS
Pitching: RHP Ivan Nova (0-1, 11.57 ERA this spring)
Also available for the Yankees: Mariano Rivera RHP, David Phelps RHP, Boone Logan LHP, Clay Rapada LHP, Cory Wade RHP.
UPDATE: Nunez scratched after feeling discomfort during BP. He wanted to play but the Yankees told him to rest instead. Joe Girardi said they’ll try again in a couple more days. Bernier is in at shortstop.
TAMPA, Fla. – Yankees infielder Eduardo Nunez felt discomfort in his right hand once again after taking batting practice and was scratched from Tuesday’s game against the Red Sox.
Nunez hasn’t played since he suffered a right hand contusion after being hit by an Austin Hyatt pitch on March 5 against the Phillies. Nunez was in manager Joe Girardi’s original lineup but was replaced at shortstop by Doug Bernier.
“We just said, ‘No, you’re still sore, let’s back off a little bit,’” Girardi said. “Because of where (the bruise is) at, you expect it to be somewhat sore. You expect it to go away, but sometimes things just take time.”
Girardi said that he would consult with head athletic trainer Steve Donohue, but he expected to try to play Nunez again in a couple of days.
“I think we’re dealing with a bruise,” Girardi said. “When you hit, you’ve got to have that snap. That’s where he got hit and that’s where it affects him. I don’t think long-term we’re going to miss him for a lot of time, but I’d like to get him back.”
Hiroki Kuroda said that he typically starts slowly during Spring Training, but the hurler’s harshest critic may have been himself in the Yankees’ 4-3 Grapefruit League loss to the Astros. Kuroda threw three scoreless innings but came away dissatisfied.
“I don’t think I had all my stuff today,” Kuroda said through an interpreter. “Nothing was really consistent. My two-seamer wasn’t there, my cutter wasn’t really cutting.”
Joe Girardi didn’t think it was all that bad. Kuroda allowed two hits, walking two and striking out two as he threw 24 of 42 pitches for strikes. Kuroda was better his first time out against the Rays, Girardi said, but this wasn’t terrible.
“I thought he was off a little bit,” Girardi said. “I don’t think he was as consistent in the strike zone as he wanted to be, but I thought he threw some good curveballs tonight (and) decent splits. His cutter wasn’t bad. He wasn’t quite as sharp as the last time, command-wise.”
What went right: Dellin Betances looked very good in a two-inning stint. Girardi said that Betances has showed a lot of progress: “From the first time he pitched to this time, much, much better. Tonight he had good stuff.” … Nick Swisher ripped a RBI triple in the sixth inning, chasing home Melky Mesa. … Juan Cedeno pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
What went wrong: Girardi said that a missed pop-up was responsible for Rafael Soriano’s shaky fourth inning, in which he allowed a run and only recorded two outs. Catcher Francisco Cervelli and first baseman Eric Chavez didn’t communicate and the ball fell foul … The Yankees didn’t get their first hit until the fifth inning, stifled by Kyle Weiland … Mike O’Connor coughed up two runs in the ninth.
What they said: “He’s very businesslike. That’s the one thing that I’ve noticed. Everything is calculated, when he’s going to do it, when he’s going to get it done. It seems that he’s always got a plan. I would say that translates out there too for him.” – Girardi, speaking pregame about his early impressions of Kuroda.
What’s next: The Yankees will kick off the 2012 edition of their classic rivalry with the Red Sox on Tuesday, meeting for the first time this season with a 7:05 p.m. ET contest under the lights at Steinbrenner Field that can be seen on MLB.TV. Right-hander Ivan Nova will make his third turn in New York’s spring rotation, looking to correct the control issues that have popped up through his first two efforts. Boston will hand the ball to left-hander Felix Doubront.
The lights at The Boss will get some work tonight as the Yankees play their first night game of the spring, welcoming the Astros to town. Hiroki Kuroda will make his second spring start for New York, with Kyle Weiland getting the ball for Houston.
Here are the lineups:
Jordan Schafer CF
Angel Sanchez 2B
Brian Bogusevic RF
Jack Cust DH
Fernando Martinez LF
Jimmy Paredes 3B
Jason Castro C
Brett Wallace 1B
Marwin Gonzalez SS
Pitching: RHP Kyle Weiland (1-0, 0.00 ERA this spring)
Also pitching for the Astros: RHP Brett Myers, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Lucas Harrell, RHP Fernando Rodriguez, LHP Xavier Cedeno, RHP Henry Villar, RHP Jorge De Leon.
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher DH
Eric Chavez 1B
Francisco Cervelli C
Dewayne Wise LF
Cole Garner RF
Brandon Laird 3B
Pitching: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (0-1, 13.50 ERA this spring)
Also pitching for the Yankees: Rafael Soriano RHP, Dellin Betances RHP, Juan Cedeno LHP, Danny Burawa RHP.
The Yankees will honor Army Sergeant Joel Tavera of Havelock, N.C., originally from Queens, N.Y., before tonight’s game against the Houston Astros. After spending two years serving his community as a fireman, he followed in the footsteps of his father by serving the country in the military and was deployed to Iraq in fall 2007.
On March 12, 2008 – four years ago today – five rockets hit the Humvee that Tavera was riding in, killing three other men. Tavera is the second-most severely injured Army soldier to survive since the Iraq war began; he lost sight in both eyes, lost his right leg, four fingers on his left hand and suffered severe burns over 60 percent of his body.
Tavera won a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his courage and bravery. His father, Jose Tavera, will throw out tonight’s first pitch. His mother, Maritza Tavera, will also be at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Maybe the only surprise stemming from Mariano Rivera’s first appearance of the spring was that the three Phillies who faced him bussed back to Clearwater with their bats intact. Rivera needed 14 pitches to navigate a perfect fourth inning, throwing 10 of them in an at-bat with Lou Montanez that featured five foul balls.
The way Russell Martin was talking, maybe that could be considered a moral victory.
“It is an honor to catch Mo,” Martin said. “If it ever happens, it’ll be a long time before we see another guy with the ability to do that.”
Rivera got a standing ovation as the strains of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blared at Steinbrenner Field, and Rivera wouldn’t bite when he was later asked if he thought it was because he has strongly hinted 2012 may be his Major League farewell tour.
But of the ovation, Rivera said, “I always appreciate it. It doesn’t matter the situation, I always appreciate it.”
What went right: Down in Fort Myers against the Twins, Phil Hughes allowed one hit and one walk over three innings, walking one and striking out one. He threw 24 of 36 pitches for strikes. … CC Sabathia worked on his two-seam fastball and tuned up with three innings of scoreless, two-hit ball against the Phillies. He walked one and struck out two, tossing 28 of 39 pitches for strikes. … Chris Dickerson lined a two-run single in Tampa and thrilled the crowd by keeping a rundown going between third base and home plate in the third inning. … Derek Jeter was 2-for-3. … Russell Martin stole his team-leading fourth base. … Yankees pitching combined to hold the Phillies scoreless on three hits, walking three and striking out eight. … Adam Warren pitched three innings of one-run ball against the Twins. … Francisco Cervelli went 3-for-3 with an RBI single against the Twins.
What went wrong: The Yankees fell, 5-1, in Fort Myers. Non-roster invitee Adam Miller served up a full-count, three-run homer to Michael Hollimon. Miller has allowed eight runs in 1 1/3 innings, a 54.00 ERA. … Graham Stoneburner took the loss in Fort Myers, allowing a Danny Valencia solo homer. … Corban Joseph was caught stealing in the Twins game. … The Yankees were 1-for-9 with RISP against Philadelphia; 1-for-7 against Minnesota.
What they said: “You feel a lot better when that guy’s on your side. You’re able to get him the ball, you feel like you’ve got a good chance of winning. I mean, more than a good chance. You feel like you’re going to win the game when he’s out on the mound.” – Sabathia, on Rivera.
What’s next: Hiroki Kuroda will get the ball for his second spring start on Monday as the Yankees play under the lights for the first time this year, welcoming the Houston Astros to George M. Steinbrenner Field for a 7:05 p.m. ET contest. Catcher Russell Martin is expected to be behind the plate to call the pitches for his former Dodgers teammate.