Andy Pettitte is clearly not satisfied with his injury-shortened return from a premature retirement. Does that mean he’s coming back next year? Pettitte’s not sure, but he’s certainly not ruling it out.
“It seems like things don’t work out like you envision them in life,” he said. “I figured coming in here that I would pitch this year and I would fully exhaust myself of whatever I had left in me as far as for baseball or whatever. And as of this moment right now, I want to pitch more right now than I did when I first came to the big leagues. I got a chance to come back and start feeling really, really good. And really, my last few starts before I got hurt felt like I was back as far as finding my arm slot and getting my velocity up a little bit — you kind of build up over the course of a season – to where I wanted it, and then this happens.”
Standing in the middle of the Yankees clubhouse, Pettitte met with the media initially to discuss his progress from the broken ankle that’s kept him sidelined since June 27. He’s confident he’ll pitch again this season, but it’s clear that he didn’t come out of retirement expecting this sort of down time. He’s pitched extremely well, but he’s going to be limited to less than half a season.
Would he rule out one more season?
“No, I wouldn’t,” he said. “I’ll go home and again talk to my family about it and pray about it and I’ll just do what I feel is the right thing to do. I definitely can’t tell you right now that I would say there’s no way I’m going to play.”
Pettitte is going to pitch off flat ground again tomorrow. He’ll wear spikes and push off like he’s on a mound, and if that goes well, he could be on an actual mound soon. Even his recovery doesn’t happy quickly enough to get into minor league games, Pettitte believes he can use simulated games to get himself big league ready.
“Coming back here was to try to help us win another championship, and I still have an opportunity to do that,” he said. “The light at the end of the tunnel for me with all of this is try to get healthy, get back and try to get myself prepared to try to help us get to the postseason, because we’ve got a lot of work to do still, and then hopefully get what we all want and that’s to try to win another championship.”
• CC Sabathia threw his normal 38-pitch bullpen today. He threw all of his offspeed pitches and reported no discomfort in his left elbow. He’s fully confident that he’ll start Friday in Cleveland. “I guess it’s just up to the way I feel,” Sabathia said. “I don’t anticipate feeling any soreness or anything in there that wouldn’t let me pitch on Friday.”
• As you probably expect, Joe Girardi isn’t ready to name Sabathia his starter for Friday, but it’s clear he’s leaning that way. “It’s possible, but to me, we’ve got to see how he comes out the next two days,” Girardi said. “If he comes out OK tomorrow, it’s pretty likely he’s going to be our starter on Friday.”
• Girardi said it’s entirely possible Sabathia would be able to throw 95-100 pitches on Friday.
• By the way, Sabathia is ready to make his case if Girardi thinks about giving him an extra day or two. “I’ve got some stuff in my back pocket,” Sabathia said. “Hopefully I won’t have to use it.”
• Nothing new on Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira. Obviously Teixeira is back in the lineup for a second straight day. Rodriguez is going through the same sort of drills he’s been doing the past few days.
• Despite using so many relievers last night, Girardi said all of his bullpen should be available tonight. They were pretty rested heading into this week.
• Even with Sabathia all but cleared to start Friday, David Phelps is not available yet as a reliever. “He’s not available today just because of the amount of pitches that he threw,” Girardi said.
• Major League Baseball and the Players Association jointly announced today that Players Association executive director Michael Weiner has begun treatment for a brain tumor. Sounds like they believe he can make a full recovery, and Weiner will continue to work out of the Union’s New York office for the time being.
• Statement from commissioner Bud Selig: “On behalf of Major League Baseball and the 30 Major League Clubs, I send my best wishes to Michael Weiner and his family. I have great respect and admiration for Michael, with whom we have had a very constructive relationship both professionally and personally. This relationship has been a great benefit to Baseball and has led to the tremendous success the game now enjoys. All of us look forward to Michael’s full recovery and to his continued contributions to our game.”
Associated Press photos