Yankees Re-Sign Andy Pettitte

Andy Pettitte and the Yankees have finally agreed to a one-year deal worth $12 million plus $2.5 million in award bonuses. Although the lefty seemingly retired after the 2010 season, Pettitte returned in 2012 with a $2.5 million contract. In 75.1 IP last season, the un-retired Pettitte put up a 2.87 ERA, a 3.48 FIP, and a career high 22.8 K%. He also posted a career high GB% thanks to a career high two-seam fastball usage.

Unless there is a major trade that sends Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, or David Phelps to another organization, the Yankees starting rotation is now identical to last year’s. This likely means they are done on the starting pitcher market, but they have also mentioned looking at Freddy Garcia-type options.

This marks the second big one year deal that the team proposed, second to Hiroki Kuroda‘s $15 million contract, and the team will likely do the same with Mariano Rivera.… Click here to read the rest

The Best Laid Plans

As the blackout last week rolled on, the conversations between my father and me inevitably rolled to baseball. One thing he kept bringing up was how this upcoming Hot Stove season would be the most challenging for Yankee GM Brian Cashman. While I think there may have been more pressure to reload after missing the playoffs in 2008, I’m more or less in league with my dad on this one. With the 2014 budget in mind, it’s hard to know just exactly what the Yankees will do this winter. We know they won’t get younger for the sake of getting younger, and that’s something I agree with. In that vein, though, the Yankees are set up to get young for 2014/2015 with the chance for some actual impact players like Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, and Mason Williams. But with regards to the Yankees’ actual plan, I’m not ready to say I know what their exact strategy will be.… Click here to read the rest

Analyzing Pettitte’s Return

I always look forward to doubleheaders. As a fan, double baseball means double fun, but you also get to examine a different type of managing. The Yankees won both games yesterday, Ichiro Suzuki came up big with an incredible 7 for 8 day, and best of all, Andy Pettitte returned from the disabled list. It doesn’t get much better than that right now.

In case you missed it, Pettitte opened up game one, and we expected him to throw anywhere from 50 to 75 pitches. Optimistically, I thought that 5.0 solid innings would be a possibility, and that’s exactly what he gave. He wasn’t exactly lights out, giving up 4 hits and 2 walks in his 5.0 IP, but he also didn’t allow a single run. For a guy who was rushed back from his fractured ankle, and hadn’t pitched in a game since June 27th, he looked as if he didn’t skip a beat.

Pettitte’s Raw Pre and Post DL PITCHf/x Numbers
Pitch Count Velo VMvt HMvt
Cutter (Pre)  217 (25.6%)  87.3  11.11  0.19
Cutter (Post)  6 (8%)  87.7  9.90  0.28
Slider (Pre)  208 (24.5%)  80.6  3.61  -3.18
Slider (Post)  17 (22.7%)  81.6  3.82  -3.86
Two-Seam (Pre)  145 (17.1%)  87.9  9.50  7.63
Two-Seam (Post)  20 (26.7%)  88.3  9.14  7.59
Four-Seam (Pre)  117 (13.8%)  87.7  11.80  2.76
Four-Seam (Post)  13 (17.3%)  88.0  10.72  2.71
Curveball (Pre)  99 (11.7%)  73.3  -0.46  -7.33
Curveball (Post)  9 (12%)  74.3  -0.06  -8.49
Changeup (Pre)  63 (7.4%)  79.3  4.59  8.41
Changeup (Post)  10 (13.3%)  79.6  3.71  8.23

Looking at the PITCHf/x numbers, you’ll see just how similar the movement on his pitches matched up to the rest of his 2012 season.… Click here to read the rest

But I Thought The Yankees Always Lost To The Angels?

For a while now, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have been a thorn in the side of the New York Yankees. We all remember the early playoff exits in 2002 and 2005 and we were elated when the Yankees finally beat them in 2009 to advance to the World Series. So even though it’s always seemed like the Yanks have had trouble beating Mike Scioscia’s team, they haven’t lately, especially at home. In fact, the Angels are now 5-15 in the regular season at the new Stadium.

I know, right?

Freddy Garcia, who has been stepping in for the injured Andy Pettitte, may not have had a quality start this time around but he still lasted five innings, scattered five hits, gave up three runs, walked five and struck out four. He did give up two quick runs in the first after giving up a bases loaded, two-run single to Alberto Callaspo and after a wild pitch, got Howard Kendrick to fly out to center to limit the damage.… Click here to read the rest

Attempting To Put A Positive Spin On The CC/Andy Injuries

(Unless he’s praying to Mecca, that’s not a position you want to see Andy in.  Courtesy of Robert Sabo/NY Daily News)

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

Injuries suck.  There’s no other way to say it.  And the reminders that they’re “part of the game” and “every team is dealing with them” don’t make them suck any less when they happen to your team.  The Yankees have already dealt with their fair share of injury woes in 2012, and yesterday’s double-whammy of injury-related suckiness was even more woeful considering it knocked out the Yankees’ 2 best starting pitchers for at least the next 2-3 weeks and certainly much longer than that for 1 of them.  There’s no way for this situation to suck any less than it already does, but there are a few silver linings and maybe even a positive or 2 to be taken from this situation if I can spin things right.… Click here to read the rest

Russell Martin hits two homers, leading the Yankees to a sweep of the Mets

Russell likes hitting against the Mets.

Through six innings it looked like the Yankees were going to get shut out in this one. The Bombers couldn’t manage anything with the bats against Jonathon Niese. The Yankees would frequently get their lead off hitter on base, only to see their inadequacy with runners on base  continue. Just when it looked like the Yankees were grasping at their final outs and heading towards a loss, the later innings happened.

Russell Martin started the excitement with a two-run, Yankee Stadium special, wall scraper to right that was just out of the arms of a leaping Scott Hairston. The ball hit on the edge of the wall, jumped straight in the air and landed in the arms of a fan. YES replayed the hit several times. It was never clear if the ball was truly a homer or if the fan interfered, but that didn’t matter because the Mets never challenged the call.… Click here to read the rest

How the Youthful Rays Were Beat by an Old Man

“I don’t really try to strike guys out,” Pettitte said. “I feel like I’m able to keep guys off balance an awful lot right now. My command was just really good tonight. I only left a couple of balls over the heart of the zone all night long. I’ve been real happy with my command and the feel of all my pitches. I didn’t think it would come back so quick.”

Who really thought it would come back so quick? A pitcher one year removed from baseball came out Tuesday night to win the first game of the series against the (once) first place Rays. The youthful Tampa Bay team may not sport the most potent offense in baseball, but Andy Pettitte didn’t simply beat the Rays. Our favorite lefty dismantled, destroyed, and defaced a team that looked ill-prepared for his high-80’s heat. This isn’t the first time I’ve said it, and it won’t be the last, but not even the most optimistic predictions had the 40 years old Pettitte putting together 7.1 innings of 2 hit, 2 walk, and 10 strikeout ball in a rather important game of a rather important series.… Click here to read the rest

Pettitte brilliant, blanks Rays

Earlier today, I wrote about the good and the bad things that’ve entailed Andy Pettitte‘s comeback. Once the game started, Andy showed us all nothing but the good. He was vintage Andy…hell, he was better than that. Going 7.1 fantastic innings, Pettitte allowed just four baserunners–a pair of walks and hits each–and struck out ten Tampa Bay batters (four of them multiple times), and of course, he didn’t allow a run as the Yankees coasted to a 7-0 victory over their division rival.

Given Pettitte’s nearly perfect pitching performance, the Yankees got all the runs they needed, thanks to an Elliot Johnson throwing error. With the bases loaded and two down, Raul Ibanez hit a rocket up the middle. Johnson, however, was positioned perfectly and scooped the ball off the infield. All looked doomed for the Yanks, as things with the bases loaded usually have this year, but Johnson bounced the ball on its way to first baseman Carlos Pena and both Curtis Granderson (on board with a single) and Alex Rodriguez (on with a walk) scored to give the Yankees their first runs of the game.… Click here to read the rest

Four starts in, the good and bad for Pettitte

Through four starts, it’s hard to classify Andy Pettitte‘s return to the Yankee rotation as anything but successful. If we’re setting the bar low, it’s great that he’s shown he’s still able to get out there and pitch every five days. Setting the bar a bit higher, he’s pitched reasonably well in his limited time: a 3.49 ERA in 28.1 innings. His FIP is a bit unsightly at 4.75, but that’s largely due to an unfathomably high HR rate. Currently, Andy’s HR/9 sits at 1.91 and his HR/FB% is a whopping 26.1%. To say those are wildly out of proportion would be an understatement. Despite the homers, though, Pettitte’s ERA is still pretty low (84 ERA-). What’s been the secret there?

For one thing, Pettitte is limiting the guys he puts on base. He’s giving up 8.6 H/9, but only walking 1.59 per nine (4.4 BB%, which would be a career low. His career mark is 7.4%.). This is even fleshed out a bit in the homers he has surrendered: Three of them have been solo homers and the other three were “only” two run homers.… Click here to read the rest