Why Andy Pettitte’s Return Is The Wrong Move For The Yanks – Bruce’s Thought Of The Day
Andy Pettitte is back and while it's a feel good story for a good guy it is the wrong move for the Yankees. The Yanks never learn and when I hear they "have" to reduce their payroll on orders from Hal Steinbrenner I laugh. The 2 are tied together.
No knock on Pettitte who despite his "dip" into HGH and cheating is a decent guy and a border line hall of famer but he isn't needed and he stunts the growth of the Yanks bevy of young arms ready for their chance to pitch in the big leagues. Because the Yanks have a history of stunting young players it costs them more in salary to aquire veterans and that's why on both accounts this makes no sense.
Can Pettitte pitch? Who knows. My guess is he can be effective. The club announced he will only be a starter but with the Yanks nothing is ever as announced. The newest generation of Steinbrenner isn't much different then the late George M Steinbrenner was for better or worse take your pick.
However starting pitching wasn't the Yanks big need if they have any BIG needs. perhaps a bullpen arm if Dave Robertson might be needed and if Rafael Soriano struggles. At some point you can expect to see the return of Joba Chamberlain. But Pettitte's return if he makes it all the way back stunts the growth of 2 bright prospects Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances. If Pettitte does make it all the way back he won't be brought in to sit the pine and wait for injury. He takes a spot in the rotation.
The Yanks apparantly offered Pettitte a spot before making deals to sign Huroki Kuroda and aquire Michael Pineda for highly touted catcher/DH Jesus Montero. It could be that the Yanks aren't happy with Pineda so far as his vaunted fastball isn't where it needs to be and his work erratic so far.
So let's count the rotation numbers. CC-check. Nova-check. Hughes-check maybe. Kuroda. Pineda. Garcia. Pettitte-check. That's 7. The saying is you can never have too much pitching and that's true if you suffer injuries. If you don't well you have a problem. None of these guys wants to be the long man in the pen, a position not as utilized thanks to the DH anyhow. The Yanks have a numbers problem. If Pettitte still has magic left in that left arm he won't join the Yanks until May so is the plan. That means added to the pressure of pitching in the big's and the added pressure of being a Yank 4 or 5 of these guys will have to make every game like the World Series. That is way over the top in the paced season of Baseball.
So in all respects this move makes NO SENSE at all. Money wise it isnt prohibitive but so goes the dollar tightening. Roster wise it makes no sense. Growing the youngsters it makes no sense. It makes no sense!
1 place it does make some sense is that Pettitte wants to pitch again. I am not 1 of these media dweebs or a fan who thinks if you retire you should stay retired. My thing is if you have the hunger go for it and if not leave. If the hunger leaves and then comes back I get that. I don't do the media/fan thing telling players when to retire or not. It is interesting that at the time of his retirement Pettitte said he would be embarrassed to make a return and said it won't happen. Upon his return he said he was embarrassed but he is back.
2 last things on Pettitte. 1st he is a roid cheat but I will admit he is 1 of 2 roid cheats that I like along with Big Poppi. the 2nd you wonder if Pettitte is trying to polish up his hall of fame resume which I can't blame him even though as a roid cheat I would never vote for him myself. No vote for a roid cheat even if he claims he did it only twice. Hey the convict said I am not a career criminal I only robbed 2 banks. But by just the numbers Pettitte is a borderline hall of famer. 240 wins in the regular season with a .635 winning percentage. He also has an all time high 19 post season wins to bolster his case. He is right on the line.
Bottom line I would not have made this deal at this time if I were the Yanks. Their appears to be good health and young studs ready to take their turns. By the way I just wonder what Freddy Garcia is thinking. Although Pettitte has always been a solid locker room guy you know this won't sit well with the pitchers I mentioned aching to get their shot. This is not a good move as it stands right now.