According to a few baseball sites, after a brief retirement from baseball, and an even more brief stint in the minor leagues, Andy Pettitte is back in the New York Yankees system, and will in fact start for them on Sunday the 13th against the Seattle Mariners.
Just yesterday, Pettitte took to the mound for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and suffered a rough five inning outing against the Boston Red Sox AAA affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox, giving up five runs over five innings, three of which were earned.
Over a total of 17 innings in the minors this summer, Pettitte has posted a 3.71 ERA, hardly mind-blowing numbers for a southpaw that once dominated not only the American League, but also the National League, during his time with the Houston Astros.
Regardless of these numbers, it’s obvious that Yankees brass– including contentious general manager Brian Cashman– believe that Pettitte is again ready for to take the mound in the majors for a team that could use a jolt.
Cashman and Yankees manager Joe Girardi certainly won’t be expecting the Pettitte of 2003, when he struck out 180 batters en route to a 21-win season, but they would be happy to take the crafty Pettitte that can still easily get them five to six innings on an occasional start, and even more importantly be a strong and calming influence on a young staff that still has plenty to learn about the pro pitching game.
Andy Pettitte will always have the cloud of suspicion hanging over him due to his past entanglements with steroid cases, but that’s now in his past and all he can do is pitch to the best of his ability and try to help the Yankees win.
After all, they are the last team willing to take a chance on him.
At least for now.