Andy Pettitte has 240 wins in the Major Leagues, has won another 19 post-season games and also owns five World Series rings. At this point in Pettitte’s glorious career, it would seem that nothing could cause him to react too emotionally. He’s been there and he’s done that. Right? Guess again.
After General Manager Brian Cashman announced that Pettitte would rejoin the Yankees and start on Sunday against the Mariners, Pettitte was elated. When I texted Pettitte and asked him about returning to the mound, Pettitte, who didn’t pitch in 2010, explained that he was thrilled.
“Words can’t even describe how excited I am to get back,” Pettitte said. “Ready to get back to the grind of the big league season and going through that with this team.”
The Yankees hope that Pettitte will be the same pitcher that he was two years ago, a smart and steady southpaw. While Manager Joe Girardi said that he expected Pettitte to be similar to the pitcher who was 11-3 with a 3.28 earned run average in 2010, Cashman admitted that he expected there would be a “gap” between who Pettitte was then and who Pettitte might be now. The general manager added that it would be unfair to Pettitte to simply anticipate that he will pick up from where he left off in 2010, but Cashman said Pettitte should improve the rotation.
If the Yankees get an anticipated boost from Pettitte, it would be extremely helpful. Before Tuesday’s game against the Rays, the Yankees’ rotation had a 5.54 E.R.A. When Pettitte signed a minor league contract, he was viewed as a luxury. Now that Michael Pineda is out for the season after shoulder surgery and now that the rotation has been unreliable, Pettitte is being viewed as a savior of sorts. He is not a savior, but he is a solid addition. Pettitte’s return gives the Yankees reason to be excited, which he already is.
“I wouldn’t be doing this,” Pettitte has said, “if I didn’t think I could come back and win.”
Related: Brian Cashman on Andy Pettitte's return