There was a level of panic being promulgated by the local newspapers yesterday surrounding Andy Pettitte’s scheduled bullpen session today. Some of it was sparked by this quote from Joe Girardi:
If Pettitte passes a bullpen test tomorrow in Chicago, the Yankees can start planning on when the veteran lefty will return from the disabled list. If the groin doesn’t allow Pettitte to push off the rubber? How about a dark October?
“I think it will be a good indication,” manager Joe Girardi said of what Pettitte is able to do in the 20- to 25-pitch session. “If he is able to push off [it will be good]. If not, that would be a pretty big setback.
Try a killer setback.
The timing of getting Andy back would be tight, but not impossible. Looking at the schedule, the playoffs start roughly 6 weeks after today’s bullpen session, so a 2 week rest you still have a month to get in rehab and a start or two. Let’s walk through this. If he’s still hurt he’d be shut down for another few weeks. Assuming he’s fine after then, you figure they’d do some bullpen work or simulated games (minor league season ends late August) and he should be able to squeeze in a late September start and/or the early October Boston series and be ready to return for the ALDS. He hasn’t pitched since July 19th, so he’d need to see some game action just to get back in the flow of things. It’s doable, but there’s no doubt the timing gets squeezed somewhat. But if you wait two weeks and Andy failed his test, then you have your back to the wall with limited options. That’s where Kiroda comes in. From the same article:
The current state of the Yankees’ rotation has many baseball executives believing the Yankees will make a play for Dodger Hiroki Kuroda, who is on trade waivers that expire today.
I think the scheduling of the Andy bullpen session has as much to do with this as it does with Andy’s health. If they waited one more week with Andy, there would still be time to get him back on the field. But at that point, the window on Kuroda would be closed. I’m sure the Yanks want to gather all relevant information before pulling the trigger on an expensive (2.7 mil) late season pick up like Kiroda, for a rotation spot that may very well be filled in short order. So if Andy’s session doesn’t go well today, don’t panic folks. It’s the Yankees, they have a plan B.