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Andy Pettitte 'Ready' To Return To New York Yankees

Andy Pettitte said Monday that he feels "ready to help the team." Meaning, of course, the New York Yankees. Not any of the minor-league squads he has been pitching with as he prepares for his comeback after taking the 2011 season off.

Pettitte threw 96 pitches Monday in an extended spring training game, and sounds as though he believes his next start will be for the Yankees.

"I feel I'm strong enough and ready to make my next start with [the Yankees]," said Pettitte, who allowed six runs, five earned, over six abbreviated innings in Clearwater. "I feel good and it was another solid day. I felt the quality of pitches were as good as I've had in any of my starts up to now, and I was able to hold my velocity throughout [the outing]. I feel like I'm ready to help the team."

Pettitte's return to the Yankees will be a welcome one. The team has lost Michael Pineda for the season to a shoulder injury, has dropped Freddy Garcia and his 12.51 ERA from the starting rotation and still has Phil Hughes starting despite a 7.88 ERA.