On the eve of Spring Training, Buster Olney reports that the Yankees are concerned about Andy Pettitte and expect the lefty to start Spring Training a bit behind in his physical preparations. As expected, the staff feels that the Mitchell Report distractions have hindered Pettitte’s off-season routines.
Andy Pettitte no longer has to go to Washington, and instead, he is scheduled to report to the Yankees’ training camp in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday. But staff members expect that Pettitte will be behind in his preparation for the 2008 season, because of the off-field issues that have dominated his offseason.
The Yankees won’t get a first-hand read of just how far Pettitte will be behind until they see him throw later this week, but the status of the team’s No. 2 starter is a major concern within the organization…
In past years, Pettitte has worked out during the offseason — sometimes with Clemens and McNamee — before starting his throwing regimen in early January. The Yankees’ staffers don’t know exactly where Pettitte is in his training, but they will operate under the assumption that he will be behind Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina, Hughes and their other starters.
While on the surface this seems as though it’s something of a big deal, it’s hard to tell what the real story is here. Olney doesn’t seem to get a source close to Pettitte to confirm or deny that the Yanks’ number two starter hasn’t been throwing. And even the anonymous Yankee “staff members” who are concerned don’t bring many concrete worries to the table.
Olney notes that an injury to his son pushed Pettitte’s training schedule back as well, but who knows? If anything, this is simply a story that we’ll keep our eyes on once pitchers and catchers report and throwing schedules come into focus.