The New York Yankees pitching rotation could add some much needed depth in the upcoming days, as reports are saying Ivan Nova and Andy Pettitte could possibly return to the rotation soon. According to manager Joe Girardi, Nova is going to replace veteran Freddy Garcia and will start Saturday, while Pettitte could return to the rotation next week if he gets clearance from his doctors.
For the past few weeks, Nova (11-7, 4.92 ERA) has been out because of shoulder soreness, while Pettitte (3-3, 3.22 ERA) has been recovering from a broken left ankle since June 27.
According to reports, Pettitte tossed "60, 65 pitches" in a simulated game at Fenway Park before Wednesday night's showdown between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox. After the session, Pettitte said he'd like to return and help the Yankees win the AL East.
‘‘I did everything I needed to do. I felt good. It’s another step,’’ he said. ‘‘They felt like my stuff was great. I just don’t know what the next step is, hopefully I'll get back in the rotation. That’s what I want to do.’’
Pettitte admitted in the next few days he will make his case to the organization that he can return to the rotation, and soon.
‘‘It’s just a matter of what they’re comfortable with, with this team, knowing I can’t give you 100 pitches,’’ he said. ‘‘There’s a lot of different factors. I'm sure we'll talk about it and hopefully I can convince them. I feel great. My leg’s feeling great. Hopefully it'll be the stamina — that’s the only thing.’’
Currently, the Yankees (79-62) and Baltimore Orioles (79-62) are in a first-place tie in the AL East standings. Both New York and Baltimore hold just a two-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays (77-64) for the final AL Wild Card spot, the Oakland Athletics (81-60) currently have a hold on the first wild card spot.