Olney: Yanks concerned about Pettitte’s distractions

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2008 Preseason Top 30 Prospects: The Just Misses

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.

Olney writes:

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.

Speed of lightning, roar of thunder, fighting all who rob or plunder
2008 Preseason Top 30 Prospects: The Just Misses
  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Confirmation from sources close to Pettitte is not a good fit for Olney.

  • nick blasioli

    if there is any doubt, i think the yankees better keep an eye on blanton…just to backup the situation…he could also solidify the pitching staff as well,..i hope andy is ok and comes on stong this year…

  • TurnTwo

    Olney threw the Yankees into the mix for Blanton a day or two ago, as a back up plan, and said the front office had at least discussed the idea.

    it’ll certainly be interesting to watch unfold. i’ll admit, considering the state of the rotation, we need Andy to be Andy… and Andy has been a guy who has admitted in the past, as Olney said yesterday to Michael Kay, on days he didnt pitch well that he missed his kids, or that his mind was simply just elsewhere.

  • rbizzler

    Olney has been floating that possibilty for over a month now, but it is nothing more than pure speculation. He is beating that drum because he hopes that it is true, not that he has any evidence to confirm his suspicions. He still is convinced that the Yanks are operating under the ‘the sky is falling’ business model of old.

    • TurnTwo

      not for nothing, but we can deal if one or two of IPK, Hughes, and Joba dont necessarily pan out…

      but if Pettitte isnt Pettitte, this team will be in trouble.

  • steve (different one)

    didn’t Andy miss a good chunk of spring training last year after he hurt his back lifting weights? he was fine in April.

    this is a cliche, but he is a veteran. he knows what he needs to do to get ready for the season. he’ll be fine.

  • Rich

    It’s only February 12th. I think Pettitte will be fine for Opening Day.

  • huuz

    for the sake of discussion, what do people think it would take to get blanton?

    could we get away with some of our b-level prospects? e.g., NOT dealing any of the big three, tabata or ajax?

    • steve (different one)

      i don’t think so.

      what would be Oakland’s incentive to do that? they won’t trade him unless they make a killing. they don’t have to trade him.

      i think they would have to get one of jackson or tabata, then maybe Horne, then 1 more high-ceiling low A ball guy.

  • Ron

    Didn’t I read somewhere that Livan signed with the Twins? You’d think a man w/ Olney’s resources would post a better vetted article.

  • huuz


    you’re right, it is on espn.com right now, livan to the twins.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    My take is that it will make Andy more focused. He knows he can leave his other crap off the field because NY fans love him and will always love him. When he is lights out (or gets out of a jam which is more like him), the crowd will go crazy and he will love it. On the road he might get some flak and he will hunker down and do his job.

    I have faith in Andy’s concentration.

  • dan

    Maybe Carl Pavano will pitch opening day again. Although I don’t see Olney giving him the “good fit” title this year.

    • Count Zero

      Carl who?