Andy Pettitte made his latest minor league start on Sunday and said he felt good after throwing 47 pitches and remains on track to return to the Bronx on May 5th or 10th.
“Right now, I feel good. I feel strong,” Pettitte told Adam Berry of MLB.com. “I need to get to where I can get into a game and feel comfortable where I can get into an inning where I may have to throw 30 pitches, because that’s going to happen. That’s stuff you can’t duplicate. I need to get my body ready, and we’re going to take the time we need to get there.
“Things are good right now. Everything feels good. I felt really strong to start the game. I can tell that I’m getting to where I need to be.”
Pettitte is expected to throw about 15 more pitches in his next outing which should stretch him out to about 65 pitches. On that pace he would throw 95 pitches on April 30. So depending on the Yankees need they could use him in a major league start on May 5th or May 10th if they are really conservative with him.
“Obviously, you know at this stage for me, any setback would cost you a month, maybe, or so. I’m just happy that I’m progressing the way I am,” Pettitte said. “I don’t want to start talking too much about how great I feel or whatever. I just want to get back up there, get ready and get back up there with the guys and start going to battle with them.”
A lot could be riding on each start by Phil Hughes. If he continues to pitch like he did last season the Yankees may feel some pressure to get Pettitte into the Bronx sooner rather than later. Of course, it is possible that they could use David Phelps in a start or two if Hughes looks seriously lost and they don’t want to rush Pettitte back.
For what it’s worth, one scout told Josh Norris of the Trentonian that Pettitte already looks ready right now and all he needs to do is get stretched out.