Andy Pettitte will face hitters in another batting practice session tomorrow. It will be Pettitte’s second BP of the spring, and starters seem to do that two or three times before pitching in games. That’s under normal circumstances, though. What Pettitte’s going through is not exactly normal.
“The work days, the batting practice, the side days — we’re taking it day-by-day with that,” Larry Rothschild siad. “Seeing how he feels the next day, and then deciding where we want to go with things with something at the end of the day in mind as far as five or six days down the road, what the possibilities are. Really, I’d like to see how he reacts to things. This is a very different situation. Maybe having a year off everything gets healed up and refreshed, but you don’t know that until you get down the road.”
Rothschild admitted that he doesn’t want to create any sort of expectation for Pettitte. Rothschild is vague about when he expects Pettitte to be ready for the regular season, won’t commit to whether Pettitte will pitch in a game this spring, and won’t even say what the Yankees hope to have Pettitte do after tomorrow’s BP. Rothschild knows that Pettitte might need a little extra rest at some point, and he doesn’t want that to seem like a setback. It’s all part of the process.
So far, though, Pettitte’s looked good.
“Very impressive,” Rothschild said. “Very professional. His sides, the stuff is there. You can see it clearly, and he’s commanded everything really well. I don’t think I need to tell you, but he knows what he’s doing. He knows how to do it and hasn’t lost that — a really good feel for his delivery and the arm speed’s been good. There are a lot of things that are really good to see with him.
“You can tell he’s been throwing for quite a while. It’s everything he said he’s been doing, he’s doing it. He also put a lot of work in. Taking a year off is a little misleading because he worked during that year and kept himself in good shape, and then he got back after it pretty quickly, even before the new year. A year off, I think people think he sat around and watched TV or watched football or watched his son play baseball, but he did a whole lot more than that.”