Andy Pettitte: Should he stay or should he go?

Andy Pettitte

Ever since the 2009 season, it’s been the same song and dance for Andy Pettitte: trying to decide whether he’s going to retire or if he’s going to play another year. Fans thought that Andy was going to hang up his cleats for good when he retired after the 2010 season. Even Pettitte thought that he was retiring for good. Pettitte was so sure about his retirement decision, that he signed up to be a pitching assistant during Spring Training in 2012. However, one thing led to another and the next thing we knew, Pettitte signed a contract for the 2012 season, making his re-debut in May of that year.

After the 2012 season, Pettitte had to decide again on whether or not he was going to return in 2013, ultimately making the decision to do so. Now, with the 2013 season winding down, Pettitte has to decide whether or not he wants to return in 2014. Pettitte made it clear that he doesn’t believe that he’s not physically able to pitch much further in his career.

“Look, as long as I’m healthy, I know now that I can pitch a long time.” Pettitte told the Star Ledger. “My velocity is up this year, compared to what it was last year. I’m taking care of myself. That’s not even an issue.”

What comes more into play here is Pettitte’s “desire to continue pitching.” As of today, he doesn’t know what he’s going to do when it comes to whether or not he’ll pitch next season.

“I don’t know,” Pettitte said. “You know what I’m saying? I don’t know. I can tell you, it’s a long year. It’s been a long year for me. And I’m laying it all out there right now on the line. If I figure that out, obviously, I’ll let people know. I just don’t know exactly yet what I’m going to do.”

Pettitte has proven that he’s physically able to pitch, posting a 1.20 ERA in his last five starts. Tonight, Pettitte will take on the Boston Red Sox, a team that he has seen success again. Against the Red Sox in his career, Pettitte is 20-11 with a 3.76 ERA in 41 starts.


— The Yankees are 17-8 in their last 25 games, the best in the American League in that time span.

— The Tampa Bay Rays lost their game last night, so the Yankees will go into tonight still 2.5 games back for the second Wild Card spot.

— Mariano Rivera and David Robertson are not available tonight. Joe Girardi was asked who would close the game if the Yankees are leading in the 9th inning. Girardi’s answer? “That’s a great question.”

— The Yankees signed RHP Matt Daley to a MLB contract and placed him on the active roster. For a corresponding move, the Yankees moved INF Corban Joseph to the 60-day DL. Daley hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2011 when he was with the Colorado Rockies. In 2011 he played seven games, sporting a 10.50 ERA with a 10.5 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9, before needing rotator cuff surgery. His best year was in 2009, playing 57 games with a 4.24 ERA. In 51.0 IP, he had a 9.7 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9.

Photo credit: (August 26, 2013 – Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America)

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7 Responses to Andy Pettitte: Should he stay or should he go?

  1. Bernard Kane says:

    Andy ought to go. If he has this much doubt about it, there is no doubt about it. Plus, his effectiveness is dropping. Sure, he's been fine lately, 3-0 his last five starts, but he's 4-3 his last ten, and 10-9 on the year. That is too streaky, he can only go 6 or so innings, with the occasional 7. At this point, as much as I have loved him for years, he is AJ Burnett. And who the hell wants THAT?!

    • Ya know AJ Burnett was not so bad were it not for his contract, save maybe for his last season with the Yankees.

      Also, while wins and losses do tell some of the picture they are certainly not the only stat I would use to evaluate a pitcher. ERA, K/9, BB/9, WHIP, fly ball %, and maaaybe FIP are probably all more important than wins.

      • Bernard Kane says:

        No way! Burnett was terrible! He ate up innings, sure, but over three years he was a barely .500 pitcher. No one ever knew when he was going to go bad. He could own the game for anywhere from one to nine innings, and that was exactly the problem.

        I saw a game where his teammates spotted him an 11 run lead. Eleven! And he nearly gave it all back. Girardi had to yank him on an emergency basis. Who can't hold an eleven run lead? His ERA was very high, his wins do reflect his other stats, he was unpredictable. He was never going to be a winner in NY, and as it turns out he's marginal in Pittsburgh too.

        • I think Greg makes a good point that wins, winning percentage, are not useful stats. Still, Burnett was no Yankee great. He had one good year, I might even go very good year, in 2009 when he helped the Yankees win a World Series, and then two crap years. When all is said and done, if the Yankees could sign another pitcher who would help them win the World Series and then pitch like crap for two years — I'd sign up for that every time.

          Still, win-loss record and winning percentage — I think we can do better than this in evaluating pitchers.

  2. Michael R says:

    For the most part baseball is a young man's game but Andy does continue to defy the odds. He has been mostly very effective. If he comes back for another year I would like to see the Yanks give him some additional rest days during the middle part of the season to keep him as fresh as possible. Lord knows they need starters and lefties like Andy are rare.

  3. Tanned Tom says:

    Andy looked fine to me for a 3rd starter, c'mon back. But to compare him to Burnett is the depth of ignorance. Pettitte has been a good pitcher, and something of a big game performer, for a long time. Burnett was here for 3 years and had 5+ ERAs in 2 of them. One guy can pitch in NY, the other had to go to Pittsburgh to get people out.

  4. hotdog says:

    a couple ways of looking at this…Andy is a decent back of the rotation pitcher at this point…if we had guys at AAA ready to start in 2014, maybe you don't give Pettite a job but it's questionable who will be ready…will Pineda, will Phelps join the rotation?…who else do we have…the biggest problem in re-signing Pettite as I see it, is his proneness to injury…we can't count on him there…but I would prefer to see a guy like Vidal Nuno get a shot at the rotation next year if that's possible (i don't know the extent of his current injury)…but in 2014, we will likely lose Hughes and possibly Kuroda…that leaves Sabathia, Nova and possibly Phelps…i can see the Yankees making a bid on Kuroda…going into the 2014 regular season, they probably need 6 starters which might leave a versatile guy like Phelps as a reliever, short and long…i don't see the Yankees going out and spending $$$ on a high end pitcher…

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