Andy Pettitte felt good today. He threw 25 pitches, none of them at 100 percent effort, and his arm and groin felt strong afterward. In that way, today was a good day, but he’s had days like this before.
“I don’t feel anything,” he said. “But I also know I didn’t feel it before, either.”
Pettitte said he hasn’t been sleeping well — “It’s sad when you’re anxious and not sleeping as well about a bullpen,” he said — and he can’t help looking at the schedule and realizing the days are limited, and there aren’t a lot of them left. Even so, he’s trying not to rush. That’s why he followed Gene Monahan’s advice today and did not go full effort. Joe Girardi said Pettitte will likely throw a more intense bullpen on Sunday, and they’ll map things out based on that session.
“I definitely was at the point I am right now before, for sure,” Pettitte said. “I’m going to be as careful as I can so I can get back. I realize how easy it is to screw this up. That’s all I’m worried about right now.”
Girardi said the staff had its collective fingers crossed this afternoon. It was clearly not a day for Pettitte to take a significant step forward, but it was a day when he could have fallen back. Girardi said he doesn’t know the earliest Pettitte could be back at this point, but he wants him to face hitters at least twice. Three and even four times is possible, he said.
“I think you really have to look at his next bullpen,” Girardi said. “See how hard he’s able to go. See how many pitches. Does he need another bullpen? Is a simulated game the next step? Just going to have to wait and see after each turn.”
• It was a massive group that surrounded Girardi for his media session in the dugout. Most cleared out when he finished talking about the Cubs managerial opening. “I think there are 30 jobs in baseball that you can manage in the big leagues, and every one of them is attractive because you’re one of a select few,” Girardi said. “And if you love to manage, any job of the 30 is a wonderful job.”
• More on managing: “If you love this game, it’s flattering to hear your name mentioned as a big league manager. I was flattered to be mentioned with the Yankees. I was flattered to be mentioned with the Marlins. If you love the game, like I do, it’s nice. But my focus is here. I have a responsibility to the Steinbrenners, who have treated me great, and my family great. To Brian Cashman and his staff. To the guys in that room. And to the entire organization and our fan base.”
• Alfredo Aceves has a rehab outing tonight with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Hector Noesi is starting, so it looks like Aceves will pitch out of the pen.
• Lance Berkman took ground balls at first base during batting practice (there’s a chance he’s done that before I just haven’t noticed it). He told me in Toronto that his ankle feels fine, and Girardi said he’s supposed to start running on it again here in Chicago.
• Javier Vazquez should be available to pitch again on Sunday.
• The Red Sox and Rays begin a three-game series tonight. “If we take care of our own business, we’ll be OK,” Girardi said. “I guess ultimately I would wish that they both lost. Can there be a tie?”
• Speaking of the Rays, they just added Brad Hawpe. He could help their unsettled DH situation.
• The White Sox were awarded the waiver claim on Manny Ramirez, but it seems unlikely he’ll be here before the end of this series.
Associated Press photos of Pettitte and Girardi. See that hand holding a couple of recorders over people’s heads in the Girardi shot? Yeah, that’s me. Being 5-foot-10 sucks sometimes.