Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yankees have to restrain eager Andy Pettitte

It must have been painful for the ultracompetitive Andy Pettitte to watch his substitute Sergio Mitre get pounded by the Kansas City Royals, making the veteran lefty more determined to return from the disabled list as soon as possible. The New York Yankees will have to restrain him.

The Yankees never had a chance in yesterday's game, with Mitre coming off a DL stint of his own to give up seven runs in just over four innings. But the Yankees will live with another three or four bad starts from Mitre or some other substitute. What they can't live with is Pettitte trying to come back too quickly, only to worsen the injury and miss the rest of the season.

Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman always take the cautious approach with injuries and I expect them to be even more careful with their 38-year-old pitcher. No matter how good Pettitte tells them he feels, they can't let him go anywhere near a mound until they are convinced that he is fully healed.

I think they are more than up to the task of protecting Andy from himself. As Pettitte said earlier this season when Girardi took him out of a game: "there's no fighting Joe." Pettitte may wish he weren't so right about that, but the Yankees know they must resist any temptation to let the feisty lefty fight his way back onto the mound too quickly.

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