New York Yankees: Five Signs Andy Pettitte Will Be Rotation's Savior in 2012

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IMay 16, 2012

New York Yankees: Five Signs Andy Pettitte Will Be Rotation's Savior in 2012

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    Andy Pettitte took the mound for the New York Yankees on Mother's Day and from that one start alone, it's safe to say Pettitte has a great shot to be this rotation's savior for 2012.

    After a year off, Pettitte got back on the bump and not only gave Yankees fans a great sense of nostalgia, but hope as well.

    Here are five reasons why it's already clear Pettitte will be a huge boost for this rotation the rest of the season.

Debut Start

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    Pettitte made his first start last Sunday, which was well over a year after his last start in the 2010 ALCS against the Texas Rangers.

    While a few kinks need to be worked out, Pettitte looked awfully strong for a guy coming off that big of a layoff. In fact, he looked better than some of his fellow teammates who have been throwing the ball regularly the past season or so.

    That is a great sign that Pettitte has good things ahead of him and could end up being a step above the rest of this Yankees rotation.

Control

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    When an aging, big-league pitcher takes the mound, control is paramount to their success in being able to throw strikes and work around the plate when necessary.

    Pettitte has displayed pinpoint control since he's returned and started in the Minor Leagues. While he's always had great control, it's surprising to see it so early from a pitcher who should have some rust.

    Better control for Pettitte will help him keep the ball down and, in turn, get outs with fewer pitches and go deeper in games. The more innings the Yankee legend is on the mound for, the better off the Bombers will be.

    It seems taking the mound is like riding a bike to Pettitte.

Who Else Do the Yankees Have?

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    Okay, I know Phil Hughes had two nice starts in a row, but they were against the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners. I'm sorry if I'm not convinced that Hughes is back on track yet.

    Hiroki Kuroda has been up and down for the Yanks. Clearly calling him a legit No. 2 starter is still up in the air at this point.

    I'm confident in Ivan Nova, but he is still pitching poor games at an alarming rate. He's allowed an astonishing 58 hits in 43 innings pitched and still has four wins. Does Nova have a great offense backing him up or what?

    CC Sabathia just lost to the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night and that in itself is a scary prospect for this rotation.

    It won't take much for Pettitte to be the savior of this rotation if he can just give the Yanks some effective, consistent innings.

Playoff Experience

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    Just look at the Bombers' starting five.

    Who out of their current arms would you want taking the mound in a playoff game?

    Does your answer include Pettitte?

    Enough said.

Special Circumstances

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    Injuries have been the No. 1 storyline of the Yanks' 2012 season thus far. The rest of the way, the story will be overcoming those injuries to make the playoffs.

    It seems every year New York has that great story of a player coming out of nowhere to help the team get to the playoffs and in special cases, sometimes even further.

    I think Pettitte would qualify as coming out of nowhere when he decided to come out of retirement unexpectedly during Spring Training to rejoin the team. It was a pleasant surprise for Yankee fans everywhere.

    We'll see if the left-hander's return will be just what the Yanks need, but it seems to fit the bill of another special player with the potential to make huge contributions for a grateful Yankee team in need.