Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Pettitte News Confuses Me

I didn't plan on writing again until Monday, as I traveled out of town for St. Patrick's Day, but I had to chime in regarding Andy Pettitte returning to the Yankees.

On the surface this is awesome news. Andy Pettitte has been a key part of 5 World Championships for the Bombers, and put up a 3.98 ERA in 405 starts (2535.2 innings pitched) for them over 13 seasons. And even though he only threw 129 innings in 2010, Pettitte did give up only 4 runs in 14 innings (2 starts) in the postseason (if the Yankees could have figured out Cliff Lee at all Pettitte may have won both of those starts). So it's hard to be upset by the news.

But I'm still confused by this.

The Yankees certainly don't need another starter. We already have Phil Hughes or Freddy Garcia lined up to be the #5 starter. And that right there already has concerns attached to it, as Freddy has very limited experience out of the bullpen (4 out of 2076.1 innings in his career), and many (myself included) want to see Hughes get another shot as a starter. So bringing Andy into the equation causes more issues than it solves.

Now, I readily admit that having too much pitching is never a bad thing. A team is much better off having too many options to choose from, as injury or ineffectiveness is bound to come up somewhere. But what about the AAA guys?

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Empire State Yankees rotation is already set with Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, David Phelps, Adam Warren, and DJ Mitchell. There's a chance that Pettitte is put into the MLB rotation, Garcia is in the bullpen, and Hughes (who has an minor-league option remaining) is sent to AAA. Which would bump one of the previous 5 guys down to AA. That wouldn't be a horrible thing, but I believe each of those pitchers should be working in AAA to prepare for a possible spot in the MLB rotation in 2013.

Andy Pettitte could also mean Freddy Garcia is traded. But what could the Yankees really get for him? Freddy should get the team something useful, as Garcia showed last year that he's still got plenty to offer a team's pitching staff, but the idea that the Yanks could just deal him doesn't exactly excite me. It's not like the Yankees could get Andre Ethier in return for Sweaty Freddy.

Look, the move is not awful by any means, but it's hard to grasp what the Yankees were thinking. Well, it's hard to grasp what they were thinking beyond "it's Andy f'n Pettitte, if he wants to pitch we're going to bring him back".

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)