New York Yankees: Why Andy Pettitte's Comeback Is Great News for the Team

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IMarch 16, 2012

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18:  Starting pitcher Andy Pettitte #46 of the New York Yankees against the Texas Rangers in Game Three of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

What can you say? What a shocker of an announcement.

Jack Curry of the YES Network announced on Friday that former New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte will make a comeback to pitch in 2012.

Pettitte signed a one-year minor league deal worth around $2.5 million and will join a rotation that already has CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Michael Pineda and Freddy Garcia.

Pettitte announced his retirement from baseball back in February of 2011. However, when he was invited to be a special instructor at spring training this year, Pettitte got the itch to pitch again.

When asked several weeks ago, Pettitte reiterated that he was staying retired and was enjoying spending time with his family in Texas.

However, he's now ending his short retirement to attempt a comeback with the Yankees.

Pettitte will likely use the rest of spring training to get into baseball shape, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, and be ready for the 2012 season. Therefore, we may not see the 39-year-old lefty until late April or May.

This spring, there has been some concern regarding Michael Pineda's velocity, which has been in the 90-92 miles per hour range on his fastball. In other words, down from what it was in his rookie season.

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02:  Former New York Yankee Andy Pettite throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game Two of the American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium on October 2, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chr
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If Pineda does in fact have to get sent down to Triple-A, the Yankees will now not be scrambling to find a replacement.

Plus, they still have Garcia, who likely would have started out in the bullpen as a long reliever. Make no mistake, if Pineda does have to go to Scranton/Wilks-Barre, the Yankees will not be in trouble.

Whenever Pettitte is ready to come up, it will prove to be a great move for the Yankees. Not only will it add even more depth to the rotation, but the Yankees will be getting one of their most experienced and best postseason pitchers in recent history back on the team.

It will be interesting to see how the 39-year-old Pettitte pitches after a year away from baseball. However, in the long run, his return is great news to Yankee fans all over and to the organization.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

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