Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pettitte out, ARod on All-Star team is ludicrous


I know that Andy Pettitte will likely make the American League All-Star team as a sub, probably for his New York Yankees teammate CC Sabathia, but it's ridiculous that he didn't get an outright selection.

As dominant as Sabathia has been over his last three starts, there's no way he's having a better overall year than Pettitte. Sabathia's record is 10-3 with a 3.33 ERA, but four of those wins came against the lowly Baltimore Orioles and he struggled during the first two months of the season. In contrast, Pettitte has been the model of consistency with a 10-2 record with a 2.82 ERA and has put on a clinic on how to be a successful, older pitcher in the big leagues. Despite struggling in his last few starts, Phil Hughes was better than Sabathia for most of the season, with a 2.71 ERA as of June 8. I would have chosen Pettitte and Hughes as the Yankees starters for the All-Star team.

Joe Girardi seems to be banking on being able to replace Sabathia, who is scheduled to start the Sunday before the All-Star game, with Pettitte. But what if something happens, such as bad weather forcing cancellation of a game this week (however unlikely given that the Yankees are heading to Oakland and then Seattle with the retractable roof), and CC doesn't make that start? Then you can't take CC off the squad and Pettitte stays home, unless someone else needs to be replaced.

As shocked as I was by Pettitte's omission, I was even more surprised that Girardi used his limited manager’s prerogative to take Alex Rodriguez. At first glance, ARod’s numbers are OK: .278 batting average, 12 homers and 61 runs batted in. But a lot of those ribbies are soft and he has only had an impact in a few games, most notably Sabathia's last start when he came right back with a two-run homer to get CC his 10th win. Evan Longoria and Adrian Beltre were named by the fans and the players so the roster was not lacking for All-Star third baseman. Why Girardi would pick ARod rather than selecting Nick Swisher or Brett Gardner, both of whom are far more deserving, is beyond me.

I feel bad for Pettitte, who has made it known that he would welcome an All-Star spot since his children want to see him play in the game. One way or another, Girardi has to make sure his clever lefty makes the squad.

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