Pettitte throws four scoreless in latest minor league start


Andy Pettitte made his second minor league start today, throwing four shutout innings for the High-A Tampa Yankees at the home base, GMS Field. He allowed two singles, didn’t walk a batter, and struck out three. He also generated seven ground balls — one resulting in a double play — while not allowing anything to be hit in the air. Josh Norris spoke to a scout who was at the game, and relayed this report…

There’s no word on how many pitches Pettitte threw, but he was scheduled for 50 or so. The Yankees have Andy on a regular five-day schedule now, so he’ll likely make his next start on Friday and throw 65-70 pitches. They did give him an extra day of rest last time though, so maybe he’ll get pushed back to Sunday. Either way, Pettitte appears to be three or four starts away from being an option for the big league team, assuming all goes according to plan and he doesn’t run into any physical problems.

Categories : Pitching


  1. Countryclub says:

    His velocity seems to be where it was when he left 2 years ago. That’s encouraging.

  2. KOFH says:

    So…who leaves the rotation for Andy in June? Who leaves in July for Phelps?

    • Havok9120 says:

      There’s no way to know right now (or even guess with any authority) for the former and the latter isn’t happening barring injury AND trade.

      Speaking of which, Andy should be ready in May by this timetable, even allowing for extra days off. Plus you’ve completely neglected Pineda.

      • Countryclub says:

        I think we can reasonably assume that Hughes or Garcia is the odd man out when Pettitte is ready. And if Pineda makes it back, that will take out the other. Obviously this is based on the others staying healthy.

        As far as Phelps goes, Girardi seemed pretty clear in the post game that Phelps wasnt going to be used this yr as a starter until all other avenues were explored.

        • Havok9120 says:

          I more meant that we won’t/can’t know the order until the time comes. You’re quite right that Hughes and Garcia appear to be the odd men out, but 2 weeks ago NOVA and Garcia appeared to be the odd men out.

          See what I mean?

          • Countryclub says:

            Fair enough

          • radnom says:

            2 weeks ago NOVA and Garcia appeared to be the odd men out

            Yeah, not really. Maybe if you were one of those freaked out about spring training. Nova has been better that Hughes for such a long time Hughes is going to have to do something more than show up to camp looking good to change that.

            • Havok9120 says:

              I’m talking about SSS dominating the guesses of who gets bounced, which is exactly what’s happening here with Hughes. Nova and Hughes have roughly the same amount of time as very good starters and the same amount of time as pretty crappy ones. Nova gets an edge because he’s under team control longer, but Hughes also has effective time out of the pen and better minor league numbers.

              How has Nova been better than Hughes for “such a long time?”

              • jim p says:

                Nova was good all last year, and, iirc, decent through the last half of 2010. Whereas Hughes hasn’t really put up more than a half-season in a row of being a good starter. Maybe I’m not recalling correctly, but if I am, the case has merit.

                • Havok9120 says:

                  No. No he wasn’t. He wasn’t terrible, but he wasn’t all that good either unless you give a lot more credence to Wins than you probably should. He was a different pitcher when he came back from AAA. He had the same issue as Hughes with lineup turnover and no “out-pitch.” He’d look good, then get shelled, then look decent, then look great, then suck for a couple outings, etc.

                  I like (and have liked) Nova more than Hughes, but his track record is not a ton better. It IS better, but not so much that Nova is a sure thing when compared to Philbert. Especially not when we’re talking about what this team is likely to do as opposed to what we think should happen.

                  That said, all of this is moot for now. Barring injury, everyone is going to get 2-4 more turns through the rotation before any moves are made. No one is out till AP and Pineda show up.

                  • radnom says:

                    The last time Hughes was performing better than Nova was 2010. Thats really not disputable.

                    • jjyank says:

                      That’s not what he’s disputing. Havok is saying that Nova and Hughes both have less than 1 year of being an above average starter in the majors. For Hughes that was 2010, and for Nova that was 2011. Nova didn’t really hit his stride until after he came back from the demotion last year, and Hughes wasn’t very good in the second half of 2010.

                      So he’s saying that their track records are similar, with a slight edge to Nova because he’s done it more recently, but not enough of an edge for it to be a foregone conclusion. Make sense?

                    • Havok9120 says:

                      Thanks jjyank. That’s exactly it.

                    • Plank says:

                      Nova’s had almost a full year of being a good pitcher in about one year of playing time. Hughes has the same amount of time as a good pitcher in over 4 years of playing time.

                      Nova has a much better track record as a major league pitcher.

                      Comparing the two of them that way is like saying Omar Vizquel (80 career HR) is a better power hitter than Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton (56 HR). Without proper context, it can seem that way, but no one could rightly make that claim.

                    • Plank says:

                      Just to play my own devil’s advocate:

                      Phil Hughes – Age 25
                      Ivan Nova – Age 25

                  • DM says:

                    For the record, Nova was not struggling when he got demoted. He was 4-0 with a 3.41 in his last 5 starts before being farmed out. He was only sent to AAA to give Hughes a look. Some here — including Mike — suggested that Nova was stumbling or something. He wasn’t. He was already improving. It was a numbers game, him or Garcia, with Hughes getting his spot back. To his credit, even Phil said it was wrong for Nova to be sent down. There’s always something a young pitcher can improve upon, but this idea that Nova got dropped b/c he needed to have a better slider isn’t true. Garcia kept his spot; Phil got his spot back; Nova was the unfortunate casualty.


                    • Havok9120 says:

                      Oh no, I know he wasn’t. I didn’t mean to imply that at all. He was already improving and I’m well aware of that. He only got demoted for space.

                      Which doesn’t mean that half his season wasn’t subpar.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      The idea isn’t that he got dropped because he needed to improve. It’s that he specifically did work on his slider upon being sent down and it did improve.

              • .zip file says:

                Nova’s been better than Hughes in that he has shown the ability to improve the longer he stays in a level and when he repeats a level. (And I was always a believer in Hughes, but I’ve about had it with him as a starter.)


                Just follow his game logs from 2011 and you’ll see he was making strides and improvements each month even before he was demoted, and he really took off after he returned. Because he doesn’t miss as many bats as some pitchers, Nova will always have a game every so often where he gets hit around. But in one full season in MLB, he got results and improved each month. All we are getting with Hughes is “Well, his swinging strike percentage on his fastball is improved” and “He has a 12.38 K/9 ratio so far this year.” Honestly, you need to look past the sabermetrics and ask where are the results? Since Nova came up in August, 2010, I think the Yankees are 25-10 in his starts. In the same time frame, I think they are 12-14 in Hughes starts. Can Hughes turn it around? Sure he can, and I hope he does, but he is in his 6th season, and he’s shown no indication that he will.

    • CS Yankee says:

      Thinking either Hughes to AAA or Freddy to MRP depending on their next couple of starts…Phelps stays MRP, and Andy takes over the third or fifth spot.

      Pineda will either be kept at AAA, and come up for an injury or DH’er or replace whoever is left in the first battle, or perhaps Nova (if he regresses).

      Talent wise, it might be;
      CC, Pineda, Kuroda, Pettitte, & Hughes. However, Nova & Freddy are pitching while Hughes is just throwing. Pineda will be the interesting one…keep him down in AAA to get him ramped up slowly & save service time or use him ASAP as he can do stuff few pitchers can (throw severe heat, wicked slider and limit the BB’s).

      Only time will tell though, good problem to have (or one would think).

  3. Kosmo says:

    3 or 4 starts away means about 2-3 weeks which means first week of May Pettitte will be added to the roster.
    In that time if Hughes doesn´t pick it up he could easily be flipped in the rotation for either Phelps or Pettitte. Garcia in the meantime is still auditioning for a job.

  4. Havok9120 says:

    This makes me happy, even if we never see him pitch for the MLB club again.

  5. Granderslam says:

    Question: if Phil continues to struggle, would you rather send him to BP (upon Andy’s return) or trade him?

    • CS Yankee says:

      AAA would be my vote. He still has an option & is under control thru 2013.

    • Countryclub says:

      They wouldn’t get anything in a trade. So if those are my options, I’m sending him to the pen to see if he can duplicate 09.

    • Havok9120 says:

      Consign him to the pen. I want to get as much value as we can out of him before we let him go. With the current roster construction, that means bullpen. I have no real faith in Hughes ability to improve in AAA. By the time this becomes a pertinent question, we’ll know whether or not he’ll stick as a starter for us. I don’t think AAA will change that.

      • jjyank says:

        My thoughts as well. If Hughes dominates AAA, we call him back up a couple months later and he gets rocked in the majors again, what useful information did we learn? Stick him in the pen when/if the time comes and let’s see if he can be successful at getting out MLB hitters once without turning a lineup over or worrying about being efficient.

    • Manny's BanWagon says:

      I guess he’d have to go to the pen to take his place next to the other failed former “top of the rotation” starter, Joba where he can serve out the next year and a half before moving on to another team.

      • Havok9120 says:

        Be fair. Joba didn’t fail.

        • CS Yankee says:

          To be fair, he said “…failed former top of the rotation starter”; in that sense he did fail.

          I would have given him a longer noose to try and get SP value out of him, but his fitness/health/nonsense/whatevs lead to them grooming him to be “the heir to Mo”…er, “the 8th inning guy”…err, “the key high leverage guy”…err, “the best 6th inning guy ever” Now, a trapoline will turn him into “the always on the DL guy”.

  6. jjyank says:

    Just gotta love this depth. I enjoy looking at Boston, then looking back at our own pitching situation. Viable (or potentionally viable) MLB starters: CC, Kuroda, Hughes (sort of I guess), Nova, Garcia, Pettite, Pineda, Phelps, Warren, Mitchell. I didn’t want to include the B’s because the Yanks likely want them developing in AAA. That’s 10 starters for 5 spots, and I’m pretty sure all 10 of them are better than the slop the Red Sox have after their top 3 starters. I love it.

  7. Ari Gold says:

    The problem I have with this process is that Pettitte is being looked at like he’s still the same guy when we won’t necessarily know that until he gets to the Majors. A year is a long long time and I think we need to watch with bated breath as oppose to slotting him in over Hughes. Especially after two starts when Hughes could easily rebound and go on a run. His GB% is way down in this young season. If Hughes has another bad start then rips off 2 good ones are we going to replace him with Andy then? I mean it’s a really slippery slope.

    • jjyank says:

      Awesome handle, by the way.

      Anyway, these things tend to work themselves out. It’s a useless exercise to try to predict Hughes’ next 3-4 starts, and then make a decision about Pettite with those predictions. Let’s just see if Hughes bounces back. A lot can happen in 3-4 starts, for both Hughes and Pettite.

      • Ari Gold says:

        Thank you

        And that’s the point. It’s useless to be shipping him out of the rotation because as bad as he can do is as good as he can do. If that makes any sense. His xFIP is at 4.35 and his stats are all over the place with small sample size fever. We need to add more to the sample before we can even begin to prognosticate a solution.

        • David says:

          It’s not about SSS: save for about a half-dozen decent starts in 2011, Hughes has straight up sucked since halfway through 2010.

          Ari Gold would have told Phil Hughes to “get the f*ck out of here!” a long time ago.

  8. William Bonney says:

    Hughes has one more start to prove himself. If he doesn’t pitch well against the Twins he will be demoted to the pen. Phelps will be promoted until Andy or Pineda returns. Hughes will probably then be traded to an NL club who is interested in a young reclamation project. We just don’t have the rotation spot to wait for this guy to figure out how to get hitters out on 0-2 counts.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      You keep saying it and it’s still not true.

    • Havok9120 says:

      “Repetition does not transform a lie into truth.”


      There is no evidence that he’s out after another start or two barring injury. He’s here until Pettitte and possibly Pineda as well, is ready.

      • mustang says:

        This and

        “We just don’t have the rotation spot to wait for this guy to figure out how to get hitters out on 0-2 counts.”

        In Apiril they do.

  9. LiterallyFigurative says:

    When Andy comes back, send Hughes to the pen, and remove Rapada from the 25 man. Phelps stays the long man until Pineda comes back, then send The Sweaty One to the pen (if you can’t trade him). Phelps goes back to AAA and starts.


    Freddy as long man
    Hughes as a tweener in the pen.

    (This all supposes health. Things can change. (Some smart ass will say “Well what if someone gets hurt?”))

    • jjyank says:

      Well, what if someone gets hurt?

      Couldn’t resist, sorry. Anyway, I’m on board with that plan, assuming Pettitte doesn’t have any setbacks. I’m not a fan of Rapada and I don’t want Phelps to be stuck in the pen all season.

    • Havok9120 says:

      I’d like for this to happen, I’m just not sure its what they’ll do yet. I think if Hughes shows any signs of life between now and AP’s return then Garcia will head to the pen first even if he outperforms Hughes.

    • DM says:

      The issue is still with Hughes. If he becomes the last man in the bullpen, you’ll be stuck with the same questions going into next year. But he’ll be going to arb again for another increase. You’ll have a 4+mil 12th man on the pitching staff for 2013. Hughes still has an option left — so he could continue to start and stay stretched out in AAA — or you could entertain trading him now as much as Garcia.

      • Havok9120 says:

        I’d prefer the latter option. Trade or bullpen. AAA offers no real benefits with him that I can see. Sure, we can keep him stretched out for….what? Another team? If he’s taken out of the rotation either trade him or stick him in the bullpen to get whatever value you can until free agency.

        • DM says:

          For “Another team?”? Yes. I don’t think AAA decreases his trade value as a starter any more than being the last guy in the pen. If Hughes has another lost season between pen and rotation — with limited innings, he’ll be 2 years removed from being a full-time starter. If there’s better options than Hughes for the big team’s staff, I think the best course of action is for him to continue to start. And despite this blocking talk, I’m sure there’ll be another oppty for him this year. And who knows, maybe he’ll learn how to be a better pitcher down there. He didn’t log too many innings at AAA — and they’re logged in pieces across multiple seasons. Let him make 30+ starts this year, even if they’re divided between the big club and AAA.

          • Havok9120 says:

            I wouldn’t argue too much if they did that, but I also wouldn’t see a ton of value in it. I don’t think it INCREASES his trade value all that much anymore than it decreases it, and we know it won’t benefit the major league team. I’m not concerned about the “blocking” nonsense, but I am concerned about what AAA would tell us (or other teams), and that would be next to nothing. If its anything like his previous (albeit limited) minor league time, he’ll go down, blow everyone and their grandmother away with his three good pitches, and seemingly demand a callup. At which point we’re right back where we were after he was the best starter we had in ST.

            I think we’ll learn more about his ability to start in the majors during the next month than we will if he spends the rest of the season after that month starting in AAA. If we can swing a deal for him at the end of that time, so be it. If not, we should get what value we can out of him at the MLB level.

            • DM says:

              It would benefit the major league team if there’s a better option than Hughes in the rotation or pen. For some reason people have an aversion to sending him down more than other guys who proved so much more at that level. I see it as an option rather than Hughes MUST be on the major league staff in some role no matter how he pitches. He could work on his command and changeup in AAA — just like Nova needed to work on his slider in AAA after 210 innings there (3x as many as Hughes).

              • Havok9120 says:

                I see it as an option as well, I simply like the other option more. And sending Hughes down to “work on the changeup” after 6 years of working on the changeup at various levels and multiple STs is different than sending Nova down and him choosing to work on his slider with seemingly not a ton of intervention from the coaching staff.

                We both see the merits of the two options, we simply disagree about their weight. *shrug* Nothing wrong with that.

    • spillingmypinstripedblood says:

      first, please do not refer to Mo as God that would be contradictory to his belief. Mo always puts God first. And is a man very deep in God’s heart.

      second, everybody has rough outings even CC based on your early assessments the Yankees could very easily send CC to AAA or traded. Long term you have to figure. Andy, Garcia, and Kuroda are not long term investments. so a more likely scenerio would be Pineda stays at AAA if Andy comes back in form which all signs so far look good. Hughes this is most likely his make or break year with the Yankees as a starter and I think his the rope he is going to be given is going to be a long one. In short this is his AJ year after this season or if he still struggles in late July then and only then do the Yankees pen him forever.

      The Yankees ceiling for Hughes is of course top end rotation guy but their floor is late inning relief for Hughes. So even if he manages the numbers of a 4 or 5 this year that is still serving a need in the organization. So perhaps by 2014 you’re looking at
      with Phelps still being long man and spot reliever unless of course everybody gets traded as is the Yankee way.

  10. statboy yankopherson says:



    Trade Freddy!

    • Havok9120 says:

      “Trade Freddy!”….in two months.

      Even then, I might prefer Phelps to be starting down in AAA unless Garcia just stinks (which I don’t expect).

  11. andrew j says:

    How cool is that. Nobody on our staff I would rather pitch a world series game on the road than andy.

    • Havok9120 says:

      As outrageous as that sounds, I might actually agree with it. If he looks as back to form as those who have seen him say he is, then sign me up for throwing him in the playoffs.

    • Alex C. says:

      You’re crazy for not mentioning the Yankees ace, CC Sabathia. Sabathia >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Pettitte.

  12. Chuck says:

    Hughes is a bum. Horrible game to attend. Phelps is better right now. It was night and day after he came in. Bullpen for Hughes.

  13. mustang says:

    Once again the names may change but the theme does not “Taking the prospect/young kid thing too far”.

    Phelps has thrown 8.1 effective MLB innings this season and we have him replacing Hughes with two proven MLB arms looking for rotation spots in waiting in April no less.

    The one underlining thing that seems to be true of most Yankees fans young and old, me included, is the lack patience.

    • jjyank says:

      Fact. Phelps has really impressed, but let’s make him keep impressing. Hughes’ stuff look good (I thought) so let’s just see how thinks shake out for the next several time through the rotation. I highly doubt the Yanks make a rotation move at all before Pined and/or Pettite are ready, so let’s just see what happens.

  14. sfly6844 says:

    Giardi always speaks of Hughes 1 year body of work on and on as he continues to support/prop up Hughes, while Nova has a 1 year body of work arguably better than Hughes with a 13 gm win streak still going(even got sent down for Hughes while in the mist of it for crying out loud)! Nova gets no friggen respect from the Yanks and IS MORE CONSISTENT AND BETTTER THAN Hughes period. Its all about consistent production and between the two, not even close for the last year. This needs to stop as if you have to win a game and have to pick between the 2, Its Nova hands down and has been that way for too long and Yanks need to recognize. Not say’in Nova’s ace material, but one pitches like he wants to be and the other doesn’t.
    End of Nova rant….

    • Havok9120 says:


      I mean, Girardi stuck by Nova all Spring just like he’s sticking by Hughes now. Its his job to defend his players before the media, whether they deserve it or not.

      • sfly6844 says:

        While I agree with your statement in general, my bottom line is that Hughes has been given more respect based on that 18 game season that really was more so a product of abnormal Yankee run support given him by the baseball Gods that year than pitching anywhere near the respect he gets over Nova. Hughes won 18 games at one time blah,blah,blah continually, but never mentions Nova showing up most times and on a record 13 straight reg season wins. Thats consistent production Hughes couldn’t produce in his best days. I am not piling on Hughes when he’s down,but for the last year it is not even close.

        • Havok9120 says:

          Yes, because Nova has not been the beneficiary of abnormal amounts of run support…

          I like Nova more and have since 2010, but lets not go overboard with the win streak stuff. He was hardly lights out in many of those games.

          I agree overall that Hughes has gotten more chances than he would have with a different name and pedigree.

          • sfly6844 says:

            No disrespect, but 13 wins in a row without a loss (granted no-decisions included) anywhere on the planet is impressive and hard to do, from MLB to little leagues. Again, he’s not gonna be a ace, but far more productive consistently in his time in MLB across the board than Hughes. Not equal respect to me. JMHO

  15. Plank says:

    Does anyone else get the impression that Hughes will have a typical Hughian year this year then next year will pitch lights out just in time for FA?

  16. DM says:

    I don’t know. But I doubt his long-term future is with the Yankees. He’ll have his best year pitching for some west coast NL team in a big ballpark with less pressure from inside and out. I can see him on the mound now — in a Padre uniform — with facial hair that the Yankees would never let him grow.

  17. Ellen says:

    I think Hughes should go to the pen and get rid of Soriano. He has done NOTHING for the Yankees.

  18. spillingmypinstripedblood says:

    I birthed Phil to be a Yankee not a Padre. Phil wins 24

  19. jg233 says:

    The quicker Pettitte and Pineda get back and Hughes and Garcia find other things to do, the better…

  20. LemDaGem says:

    1.} Durability and stamina ( avoid needless mid-season injury by not allowing AP to get back into top notch shape to go 7 innings per start )
    2.) Late movement on ALL his pitches. (THE difference between a quality start and giving up 4 runs or more)
    3.) Entire arsenal of pitches in the ZONE > 12 > 6 and 9 >3.
    4.) Anyone overly concerned about fastball velocity doesn’t understand the significance of criteria 1 >3.
    5.) ANY fastball over 91 MPH in a crucial situation with excellent late movement and location is a perk, NOT a requirement with AP’s experience level.
    6.) Anyone that believes a rising fastball at 93 MOH over the middle or upper part of the plate is cause for rejoicing hasn’t watched Clemens do that and get shelled. I was at the Stadium and Rocket didn’t survive to the 5th inning against the Orioles.
    7.) AP’s presence will demand better professionalism and more attention to detail on the bench and during
    down time between games for the entire pitching staff. Pettitte and Rothschild ought to sit down an analyze every hurler on the Yank’s staff for ways to improve their conditioning, stamina, endurance, mechanics and ability to MAKE the right pitch in the right spot at a critical at bat.
    8.) Anyone worried about the over abundance of starters has missed the point of a 162 game schedule and doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “ATTRITION”.
    9.) Hopefully, Girardi and Rothschild will hand pick AP’s first few starts against teams they know his stuff has a better than average chance of success against this season when he reports in.
    10.) Anyone expecting miracles on AP’s first few starts has missed the point of the exercise.

  21. FreeAgentSignee says:

    Welcome back and go Andy!

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