Saturday, March 17, 2012

How Andy Pettitte's Return Effects the Empire State Yankees

Andy Pettitte playing for Trenton back in the day. There's a chance he'll be back there this year. Image thanks to YES!
Andy Pettitte is back! In a shocking move, Brian Cashman has signed Andy Pettitte, who decided to come out of retirement, to a $2.5 million minor league contract. I learned of this move in a text message, and initially believed that my friend was playing a joke on me. As it turns out, it was true, and I couldn't be more excited. We don't need to go into how good Andy Pettitte was, but suffice it to say that knowing Andy Pettitte, he would not be coming back unless he felt like he could make an impact. Worst case scenario, the Yankees could have one hell of a left handed reliever in the bullpen. Best case scenario, they have an excellent #2 starter for only $2.5 million.

Anyway, there are not a lot of negatives to this signing, but one of the problems it presents has to do with the Empire State Yankees and their starting rotation. The current rotation includes David Phelps, Adam Warren, DJ Mitchell, Manny Banuelos, and Dellin Betances. That's five in case you can't count, and there is only space for five starters. Pettitte was signed on a minor league deal, so he will likely pitch in AAA before being sent to the majors. That being the case, someone is going to have to miss out on innings. I'm not sure who it will be, but none of them deserve it. All five are legitimate rotation candidates. There is a chance, although it depends on the front office's thinking, that they could send Andy Pettitte to AA Trenton. It probably won't make much of a difference who Andy is pitching to, as it will be more important that he's getting his reps, and refining his location and stuff. It's not like he has to test his results against AAA hitters, we already know he can be dominant there. It's also possible that Banuelos or Betances will start the season back in AA while Pettitte is around, and then will get called up as soon as Pettitte goes to the majors.

There are also some positives for the AAA players if Andy does in fact go there. These same benefits would apply to the AA pitchers if Pettitte were to be sent there. He is a great mentor, and an extremely hard worker. The minor leaguers will see this first hand, and it will give them an idea of what it will take for them to get where they need to be. Aside from that, I'm sure Pettitte will provide plenty of advice, and it may even be like having another coach down there. A coach who played, and succeeded in a big way, in New York.

There is no question that this is a positive move for the Yankees. It will be interesting to see how this plays out at the minor league level, and how it effects the players who are currently slated to start with the Empire State Yankees. The amount of depth the Yankees have at the pitcher position is currently astounding. With this signing, there are 12 pitchers who could be effective major league starting pitchers this season. The Yankees were already in really good shape, and this is just a bonus on top of that.


  1. I think he would prefer AA just because they actually have a home stadium in 2012. I doubt he wants to be bussed all over the country the way the AAA team will be.

  2. Excellent point. I am actually hoping this will be the case, and it seems to make a lot of sense for both Andy Pettitte and everyone else really.