Andy Pettitte got beat again yesterday and as I mentioned before, these starts are essentially auditions for him for 2009. Pettitte recently indicated he’d like to come back and pitch in the new Yankee stadium, but do the Yankees want him?
Pettitte’s starts this year have been wildly inconsistent and mostly bad recently. He followed a game on June 7th when he gave up 10 runs to the Royals with an 8 innings, 1ER performance in Oakland. Throughout his career, Pettitte’s reputation has been that he is “big game pitcher.” So is he simply lacking the motivation during this depressing season, or is he legitimately losing his ability?
What’s funny is this: despite his bad season, when I first thought about whether the Yankees should bring him back, I didn’t hesitate: yes. I also have the same opinion on Mike Mussina, but he is having a great season. If Mussina was having a season like Pettitte’s, would I want him back? Well, that I don’t know.
I generally don’t buy into the “True Yankee” hype, however because Pettitte was a member of those championship teams, I think I, and most Yankee fans in general, automatically give him more leeway. Though at the same time, Mussina’s great season should tell us that Pettitte is definitely still young enough to get the job done.
Bottom line, I think the Yankees should make a competitive offer to bring both of them back. Pettitte will give them innings no matter what and he could potentially slot in as the 5th starter. A rotation of Sabathia, Wang, Joba, Moose, and Pettitte would, on paper at least, look pretty strong. And of course Hughes would be waiting for the inevitable injury or ineffectiveness. Also, Moose and Pettitte would both likely have short term contracts, meaning that when the rest of the Yankees young pitching is ready, the spots won’t be filled with long term contractual commitments.