Now that the winning-est pitcher in postseason history, Andy Pettitte, is retiring, there will be more holes to fill in the New York Yankees‘ pitching staff next year than there were yesterday.
Sure, it was a good probability that Pettitte would hang up the cleats following this disappointing season, but now it is official and the Yanks have to start preparing for the offseason in which Pettitte will be gone, while Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes will be free agents.
An interesting name who has gotten some big league experience this year could be an option to take on the impossible task of trying and fit into Pettitte’s shoes as another big lefty. That man is David Huff. He has been a serviceable asset for the Yankees’ bullpen since he has been called up to the roster, and who also has starting experience.
This year, he has made nine appearances, starting only one time. That said, his last two turns have been basically split starts with Hughes. When Hughes would get in trouble in these high-stakes contests with major playoff implications, Huff has come in and performed reasonably. In these games, he’s pitched 6.2 innings, giving up only two runs getting one win. He was in position to get another, but the lead was blown.
I’m not saying that Huff could do any justice to what Pettitte has compiled over his borderline Hall of Fame career, but the Yankees really do not have many options when free agency hits. Their major focus should be trying to re-sign Robinson Cano, who will be after a gigantic contract.
So, the Yankees will most likely try out in-house options for the starting rotation, and Huff will be one of the most likely options. He shouldn’t try to replace Pettitte, but instead aim to slide into a rotation spot and not screw it up too badly… ie. Phil Hughes.