Sunday, May 13, 2012

Expectations For Pettitte

In just a little over an hour, Andy Pettitte will complete his spring comeback attempt when he once again dons the Yankee pinstripes and takes the mound to start for the New York Yankees.  To say this comeback was unexpected would be an understatement, at least for me personally, and there have been plenty of questions attached to this comeback related to how Andy would perform and what the Yankees could expect from him.  He's answer every question over the past month plus except the last one.  Today, that question will finally start to be answered.

I said right after he came back that I didn't want him to just be gift-wrapped a spot in the rotation, and I said after his last MiL start that I thought he could use one more, but the fact of the matter is that what Andy has already done in his build-up starts is better than what the Yankees have been getting from the 5th spot in their rotation from Day 1 this season.  He's been far more effective in giving up runs and limiting damage than Freddy Garcia was, and he's pitched deeper into games than David Phelps has in his 2 audition outings.  5+ innings of 2-3-run ball isn't flashy, but it's an improvement over what the team has been getting from the back end of the rotation, and with the top 4 pitching better lately it's exactly what this team needs.

The atmosphere is going to be electric today at the Stadium, and it should be.  It's not often that we get to see an integral part of a Yankee dynasty come back and compete again.  But to expect electricity and dominance from Andy today would be wrong.  As long as he can continue to be better than what the 5th starters before him were, Andy is going to be successful.  And to give him a start at home, against a weak offensive team is the perfect way to gauge where he's at and work him back into the fold.  I won't get to watch the game today, but if Andy is sitting 85-89 with his fastball, working his cutter consistently, and has better command of his other offspeed pitches than he did the last time out, I'm going to be happy.

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