Pettitte hit hard in Triple-A, what's next?
It was widely assumed that Andy Pettitte would return to the Yankees and the Major Leagues this week – perhaps Friday night against Jesus Montero and the Mariners at Yankee Stadium – if there were no roadblocks during his first Triple-A start Sunday in Rochester, N.Y.
Pettitte emerged healthy, but his stat line took a beating, which has Joe Girardi cautioning that the wait may end up a bit longer. The left-hander allowed five runs, three earned, and eight hits with two walks (including one with the bases loaded) and five strikeouts for the Empire State Yankees against Pawtucket.
Pettitte threw 92 pitches, 59 for strikes. He owns a 3.71 ERA in 17 Minor League innings, but despite the numbers he believes he’s ready to formally begin his second career after a year in retirement.
“My bullpen work has been almost perfect,” Pettitte told reporters. “Every outing, every side (session), I've felt really good. I'm hoping when I do get an opportunity that I can get everything going the way I hope to.
“I’m going to let them let everybody know what we’ve got going on. I feel like I’m ready, and I think they’re ready for me to come up.”
Speaking after the Yankees’ 10-4 win Sunday in Kansas City, Girardi said he’d sit down with Brian Cashman on Monday to determine the best course of action. His rotation is saddled with an 11-12 record with a 5.55 ERA and 7-12, 6.07 excluding CC Sabathia. But Phil Hughes’ encouraging game (three runs, seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 IP) against the Royals Sunday afternoon assured he’ll continue to start for the immediate future. If Pettitte needs more time, David Phelps will receive another start.
“Anyone can go out and throw 100 pitches, but they got to be quality pitches,” Girardi said of Pettitte. “We need to see consistency. When you bring a guy back, you have to be sure he's ready.”
Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC