Brian Heyman here for Chad again at Yankee Stadium. Most of the pregame talk was about Andy Pettitte. Suffice it to say, he’s beside himself over this continuing groin strain, even wondering if he’ll be back this season.
“Of course, that’ll cross your mind, too,” Pettitte said. “But there’s no sense in worrying about that. I was riding in with my kids and I said, ‘Help me stay positive here.’ I’m already worried about what am I going to do, but I can’t worry about it. I want to try to stay positive. And when I’m back throwing, I’ll be mentally ready. I’ll get my work in and figure out a way to hopefully get it done.”
The 38-year-old lefty felt the grab when he tried to throw with full intensity in the bullpen on Tuesday and his subsequent MRI showed a small persistent strain.
“To say, I’m frustrated, that’s an understatement,” Pettitte said. “In Tampa (at the end of July), I talked to you all and I thought I was a week ahead of schedule maybe. … It’s just not allowing me to push when I want to go real, real hard, and I’m getting some irritation in there.
“I know how I was feeling, and I was feeling great. I think maybe I combined my bullpen work with my running and getting back into my weightlifting and maybe I pushed it too hard and got the thing aggravated a little bit.
“I’ve got to back off a little bit and focus on my mound work and that’s it. I’m sure age has a lot to do with it. I’ve got a lot of wear and tear on my body since 10 years ago, 9 years ago, the last time I did this.”
Joe Girardi is thinking Pettitte will have to do two rehab starts. That would probably follow a bullpen session and a simulated game. He will throw on flat ground for now, but is banned from the mound for about a week.
“We said all along five weeks,” Girardi said. “So it’s going to be more than five weeks. You’re looking at, as of right now, being seven weeks, and that’s longer than we anticipated.
“I think if you get into the third week of September and we haven’t gotten him back, you’d be somewhat concerned.”
Dustin Moseley gets his next turn at being Pettitte’s stand-in tonight against the Tigers. He’s 2-2 with a 4.41 ERA.
“You can’t replace an Andy Pettitte,” Brian Cashman said late Tuesday night. “But I’ve got to say, I think Dustin Moseley has done a really nice job to help cushion the blow. We have another guy down there at Triple-A, (Ivan) Nova, who’s waiting for his opportunity to try to show what he can do as well. At some point, if we have to dip down and grab somebody else to help us, so be it. That’s what they’re there for. In the meantime, it’s nice to have guys like Nova and Moseley to turn to allow the bigger guys like Andy Pettitte to get physically back on track.”
Here’s the Tigers’ lineup:
1. Austin Jackson CF
2. Ramon Santiago 2B
3. Ryan Raburn RF
4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
5. Johnny Damon DH
6. Jhonny Peralta SS
7. Brandon Inge 3B
8. Alex Avila C
9. Don Kelly LF
Jeremy Bonderman P