Andy Pettitte spent part of yesterday’s off day at Yankee Stadium. First he was checked by the team doctor. Then he was cleared for all baseball activities. Then he threw a light bullpen. Then he took PFP — fielding bunts, covering first and throwing to second base.
“He didn’t want me to go hard,” Pettitte said. “I covered first base, but just kind of jogged. The doctor released me to do that but didn’t want me to go crazy.”
For Pettitte, being cleared for all activities was more about having permission than actually going through the motions.
“It was good to get cleared to be able to run so they would let me pitch,” he said. “As far as running, I’ll probably wait to run for a little while just because I don’t think my leg needs the pounding of me going out there and running on it. I was wanting to be cleared to run because I knew they were never going to let me pitch unless I was able to start covering first base and moving around the field.”
Pettitte feels ready to pitch. He’ll throw another simulated game tomorrow. The Yankees are shooting for roughly 60 pitches, but Pettitte said he’ll basically try to throw as many as he can. That’s what he did in Baltimore and he’s felt good ever since. Both Pettitte and Joe Girardi said it’s at least possible that Pettitte will be ready to pitch in a game after tomorrow’s sim game. He’s been wearing a small brace, but nothing else.
“I want to pitch,” Pettitte said. “I don’t know if they have a number (of pitches) in their head, but I feel like that I can say that (it’s getting close). I may be terrible tomorrow, I don’t know how my arm is going to feel, but I feel like that I’ve been pretty sharp in the two simulated outings that I’ve thrown. I know it’s not a lot of body of work, but I want to go out. I want to pitch.”
• Mark Teixeira was obviously disappointed to learn he’ll miss another 10-14 days, but it’s also more or less what the Yankees were expecting when Teixeira went for additional tests yesterday. For now, Girardi said he expects Nick Swisher to get most of the first base starts against right-handers, and Steve Pearce is likely to get most of the starts against lefties.
• Girardi said he’s confident Teixeira will be available in they playoffs. “I expect to have him back in the two-week period,” Girardi said.
• Ivan Nova threw a sim game earlier today. He’s not available tonight, but Girardi didn’t rule out the idea of Nova starting in place of Freddy Garcia when the Yankees get back home this weekend. David Phelps will stay on schedule and start tomorrow’s game at Fenway.
• Girardi said Nova would have thrown another sim game earlier than this, but the Yankees wanted to make sure Nova was available in Baltimore. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to need him over the weekend,” Girardi said. “I had felt that he probably needed to see some more hitters before we could feel good about putting him in a game. I thought he looked good today. If he feels good tomorrow, we’ll make a decision what’s next for him.”
• Nick Swisher is hitless in his past 28 at-bats, but don’t expect him to fall out of the lineup any time soon. “He’s had some good at-bats where he’s walked, he’s hit the ball hard, he’s had guys pull balls over the fence that were home runs,” Girardi said. “I think he’s run into a bit of bad luck in this streak. You can look at the numbers and say it’s 2-for-40 or whatever it is, but I really think conceivably that there are 10 hits in there that he’s possibly had taken away.”
• Girardi said the Yankees haven’t heard anything from the league following Saturday’s blown call. He hasn’t heard anything about a possible fine for Teixeira, and he hasn’t heard any sort of acknowledgement that it was a missed call. “I don’t think you need something from the league,” Girardi said. “Your eyes are going to tell you what the call is.”
• By the way, Melky Mesa is a very smiley, happy kid right now. He said he hasn’t heard anything about how he might be used, but I have to think his most likely role is as a defensive replacement and pinch runner.
Associated Press photos