The plan was to take things slow, but Andy Pettitte has been on what seems to me like a pretty aggressive schedule since the announcement of his unretirement. He started throwing bullpens and BP very early in his short ST stint, got into a ST game earlier than expected at the end of camp, and last night made his first official appearance of the season for High-A Tampa. The plan was for Pettitte to throw just 2 innings but thanks to a low pitch count he ended up throwing another, once again an aggressive decision.
All reports on Pettitte's outing last night have been incredibly positive, and with good reason. He threw 32 pitches last night, 26 of them for strikes, and sat 85-86 with his fastball, which is not too far off from the 88-89 he was averaging when he last pitched in 2010. Granted, it was against much lesser competition than he'll face at the upper levels, but in what was essentially a ST start the results were everything you would want to see.
Andy mentioned at his comeback presser that his legs were much further behind his arm at that point, and given the injury problems he had with his legs at the end of 2010 I thought that was going to be the main reason to take things very slowly with him and for the Yankees to not even consider calling him up until he was absolutely 100% ready, even if it took until June. But Andy said his legs felt good after last night, and he's scheduled to make his next appearance on Sunday. He'll get an extra day of rest before that start because of the 3rd inning he threw last night, which is a wise decision, but early on it appears to be full steam ahead for the old pitching Jedi.
July 24, 1996: Yankees defeat Rangers 4-2
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