Results tagged ‘ Andy Pettitte ’

With Pettitte, different words, same story


As the Yankees have been since the final out of the American League Championship Series, they continue to leave the light on for Andy Pettitte to return. But it seems that Pettitte is no closer to putting the uniform back on than he was that evening in Arlington, when he said he just wasn’t sure what he was going to do. 

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke with reporters at the Owners Meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz. tonight, and one of his phrases could be interpreted to mean that Pettitte would not be ready to start the season with the Yankees. 
“I don’t think he’s determined whether he’s officially finished, but is choosing at this stage to not start 2011,” Cashman said, as quoted by MLB.com.
Cashman later said he had misspoke, and there are no new developments to report with regard to Pettitte. Cashman said that the topic of Pettitte starting the season after Opening Day, like Roger Clemens did for the Yankees in ’07, has not come up.
So the Yankees are right where they’ve been all winter – hoping Pettitte comes back, of course, but no longer watching the phone breathlessly for the moment when there’s a decision one way or the other.
“He cares greatly about this franchise and the direction in which we’re going,” Cashman said. “But you’ve got to be all-in, especially when you play in the American League East. If it takes him some time to get all-in, I respect that. If it never happens, I’ll also respect that.”

Quick hits on the pitching front

Some quick-hit items and rumors from around the Yankees, on a day when Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven meet the media in New York as Hall of Famers:

  • Could Jeremy Bonderman be on the Yankees’ radar to add starting pitching depth? Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York thinks so. There have been reports of the Yankees’ interest in Bonderman, who was 8-10 with a 5.53 ERA in 30 games (29 starts) for the Tigers last year.
  • If Andy Pettitte doesn’t return, Jon Heyman of SI.com believes they will sign free agent Rafael Soriano as a setup man. Cashman had said earlier this winter that he wasn’t inclined to spend closer money on a setup man, but that was in Kerry Wood‘s case — before Cliff Lee came off the board — so perhaps that stance is flexible. 
  • Cashman told us this week that he’d prefer to sign a starter over a reliever, and the Yankees are also reported to have “a modicum” of interest in Freddy Garcia and Kevin Millwood, according to Heyman.
  • Brian Schlitter is the newest Yankee, claimed off waivers from the Cubs on Wednesday. He figures to get a look in Spring Training and might pop up in the Bronx at some point this season. Schlitter had a 12.38 ERA in seven big league outings last year, but had a 3.15 ERA and 13 saves at Triple-A. Here’s a Q&A with Schlitter.
  • Nick Swisher will play himself in two episodes of ABC’s ‘Better with You,’ joining his new wife, Joanna Garcia. They’ll be set to air in February. 

Cashman: There’s not much out there

A quick blog update for you:
I caught up with Brian Cashman for a few minutes on the phone this afternoon, hoping for some sort of update on the Yankees’ search for helpful additions. As you might have guessed from the headline, it sounds like the scene is pretty quiet. 
“Obviously, I’m looking at what’s out there,” Cashman said. “There’s not much. I’m monitoring what the necessary requests are, financially or player wise. If some drop, then maybe we’ll get a little more serious.”
Cashman wouldn’t speak to any of the specific names that have bounced around, but he did say that his preference would be to add a starter over a reliever, and that pitching is their greatest area of need. 
If the season started today, Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre would probably be at the back end of the rotation, but Cashman wouldn’t say if that scenario seems any more likely now. 
“We’ve got a lot of time left on the clock. Who knows?” Cashman said. “The bottom line is, there’s a reason we haven’t done anything up to this point.”
There’s no need to re-hash the Cliff Lee situation again, but this is the price they’re paying for waiting so long for his decision.
“I’m working at it, but in terms of getting results, that’s why Plan B is patience,” Cashman said. “You’re seeing it.”
Obviously, the Internet and talk radio haven’t had the same sort of cool attitude lately when it comes to Yankees fans. I asked Cashman if he hears that impatience from the fan base and if it could influence anything. 
“I could care less if the sabers are rattling out there,” Cashman said. “It’s about doing what’s right. I’ve dealt with saber-rattling before. I’ll stick with what I believe in. I’m not going to jump into something stupid.”
The obligatory Andy Pettitte update is a no-update – nothing really new to report. 
“I could just tell you that he has been very good about it,” Cashman said. “He informed us about, ‘Don’t wait on me, I’m leaning toward retirement. As of right now I’m not playing, and if I change my mind I’ll let you know.'”
Cashman said that there is nothing Pettitte’s situation will do to influence how they chase other pitchers, because the Yankees are continuing to proceed as though Pettitte will retire. 
“It’s at his request,” Cashman said. “At the same time, I don’t see much in the marketplace that would have me take that type of money and throw it at somebody else.”

Pettitte was hurt during playoffs

Yankees manager Joe Girardi shed more light on why Andy Pettitte couldn’t pitch Game 2 of the ALCS today, and why the team instead went to Phil Hughes for Games 2 and 6 against the Rangers. Here’s the transcript:

(Any second thoughts about how he set up Pettitte and Hughes?) Sometimes as a manager you have to do things for certain reasons. As I said before, we lined up our rotation, there were a lot of factors that went into our rotation. Sometimes you’re going to take heat or people are going to question things that you do about it because you’re trying to protect a player or protect a strategy.

Let me take you back. Andy Pettitte pitched Thursday against Minnesota. In the seventh inning, Andy’s back started locking up a little bit. His hamstrings got really tight. He gutted it through the seventh inning for us and got through it. He wanted to go back out for the eighth. I think he had about 88 pitches. And I said, ‘No, you’re not going back out. You’ve done your job.’

He came in on Friday and his back was locked up. Saturday was his bullpen because he basically had to prepare for Game 5. He got about halfway  through his bullpen and had to walk off because his leg grabbed at him. A little different spot, his adductor. So we thought it was in our best interests, and I thought talking to the trainers and the doctors, if we could give him a couple of extra days he might be able to get through that series. He didn’t throw a light  bullpen until Wednesday because we were fearful.

The last time Andy walked off a bullpen, it became a couple of weeks. If I only had Andy for one game in that playoff, I was willing to take the risk to make sure he was healthy. In talking to doctors, trainers, our staff, Cash, we thought we had to give him those two extra days. Andy had some leg problems down the stretch, he had some back issues. It was unfortunate and he pitched a great game.

Who knows what would have happened if he was able to pitch Game 2? We just felt that after having that issue on Saturday, we’d better give him a couple of extra days.

(If Andy was healthy, would he have pitched Game 2?) We might have lined up our rotation a little different if he was healthy, yes.

(Andrus’ tapper on the first play of Game 3) Yes, I held my breath. He seemed to be OK through that start. He talked about a little back stiffness but nothing like he had in Minnesota or when his leg grabbed. Every time he went after a ball, I was concerned. If you share that knowledge, maybe they bunt more.  Maybe they try to do more things. And that was a concern of mine.
 
(Would Andy have pitched ALCS Game 7?) He was OK. At that point, he felt OK, so if I did have concerns, he was going.

Andy Pettitte in action

Tonight in Altoona, Penn., Andy Pettitte is making what the Yankees believe will be his last stop on the comeback trail, pitching for the Double-A Trenton Thunder. He’s five innings or 80 pitches away from rejoining the Yankees and probably starting against the Orioles on Sunday in Baltimore.

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