(Courtesy of The AP)
Far be it for me to question Andy Pettitte about his preparedness to join the Yankee rotation. After all, he's done this for over 15 years and probably knows his body and his conditioning better than anybody, and my 3-year Little League career included no more than 5 legitimate hits at the plate and more HBPs than strikeouts on the mound. But I have to admit that Pettitte's no-nonsense declaration that he was ready to join the rotation and implication that he expected to be called up this week raised at least one of my eyebrows, especially with the lines he's put up in his last 2 starts.
On Sunday, Andy pitched 5 innings for Triple-A Empire State, the first time he faced this high a level of competition on his comeback tour. In those 5 innings, he allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5 batters and throwing 92 pitches in the process. Some defensive shenanigans inflated his line a bit, as infielders Steve Pearce and Brandon Laird both botched plays in the first 2 innings, but it was hardly a smooth outing for Pettitte. This start comes on the heels of his previous start, a 5.2-inning Ext. ST outing that saw him give up 5 ER on 10 hits. The general feeling right now is that Pettitte's velocity on his pitches is right where he wants it to be, but his command of his offspeed stuff isn't all the way there. If that's the case, then I have to ask, why not give him another rehab start?