Five Options the Yankees Could Use If Andy Pettitte Stays Injured

Mike MirabellaContributor IAugust 27, 2010

Five Options the Yankees Could Use If Andy Pettitte Stays Injured

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    On Friday, Andy Pettitte threw a bullpen session in Chicago. He threw at 75 percent however felt fine.  That was supposed to be the day when we would know whether or not Pettitte would come back.  Instead, he will probably throw another session and the Yankees will take it from there.  There are two possible outcomes for that session.

    Good outcome: Pettitte could return in mid-September and be the horse he was before the injury, when was on his way to a Cy Young-type season. 

    Bad outcome: He could feel a "pull" in his groin, and the Yankees could be stuck with the pitchers they have, or get someone off waivers.

    Needless to say, the Yankees desperately need Pettitte back. With him at full strength, the Bombers could have a dangerous 1-2 punch with him and C.C. Sabathia.

Brian Tallet

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    Last year, it was Phil Coke. This year, it could be Brian Tallet.The lefty has a very high ERA, but he has been masterful against lefties this year. They are hitting a minuscule .148 against him. Now, I know, the Yankees already have a lefty specialist in Boone Logan, but with Damaso Marte on the DL, Tallet could prove useful.

    Also, since his acquisition would give the Yanks two lefties, Girardi could use either Tallet or Logan on any given night in the playoffs, since he wouldn't have to worry about giving them rest.

    I'll admit, it may not seem like a probable pick-up for the Yankees, but then again, nobody thought they would get Mark Teixeira, right?

Hiroki Kuroda

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    Hiroki Kuroda was rumored to have been an obvious choice for the Yankees, or so a rival team executive said.  Check the link on the bottom; you would think Ken Rosenthal, a mighty FOX Sports executive, would be right.  But, so far, no dice.

    The righty has a 3.56 ERA and might have a better record (9-11) if he wasn't on the Dodgers, who rank 20th in runs scored this year as of August 26th.  He is averaging 7.2 strikeouts per inning and 0.73 home runs per 9 innings.  Also, GM Brian Cashman has downplayed the Yankees needing to get anyone, so maybe it's just a bluff.  The Yankees would get the last pick for anyone on waivers, so doing this could stop someone from blocking the trade so they couldn't get him.  Also, Cashman is "showing faith" in Moseley, again, which is perhaps part of the bluff.

    Anyway, having Kuroda in the rotation would add some stability to a rotation that, at this point, is anything but that.  He could match up against any other No. 2 starter the Yankees might face in the playoffs, so there is a plus.

    The Bombers probably wouldn't have to give up much for him, maybe a prospect with a little upside. I think the Yanks should definitely get him, but if not, there are other options for New York.

Thier Own Relievers

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    I know, I know, this is a picture of Dustin Moseley, but he is a kind of spot starter/long relief guy, so he fits the description.  Also, he has been the replacement for Andy thus far, and could continue to be.  Or, the Yankees could do the same thing as last year when Joba had his innings limited, which means either Sergio Mitre or Chad Gaudin would fill in.

    Sergio Mitre has a 3.96 ERA, which is good for a mop-up relief kind of a guy.  Also, he has started for the Yankees before and was good at times.  Another sign Mitre could pitch for the Yanks is that both he and Girardi were in the Florida Marlins organization as a player and manager, and last year, when Joe said he would bring up Sergio to pitch in Chien-Ming Wang's (nightmare) spot, he said, "I've always thought he's had kind of a bulldog attitude."

    Chad Guadin is the least likely of the three, but he has a chance, seeing that he pitches long relief and has started for New York before.  He has a 5.98 ERA and has bounced from team to team.  Again, it is a slim possibility, but one nevertheless.

Javier Vasquez

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    Vasquez's numbers this year have been far from impressive, however, he is a viable option for the Yankees if Pettitte doesn't make it back to the mound this year.  He has a lofty 4.96 ERA and hasn't made it past the fifth inning in his last three starts. 

    But, and this is a big one, there is a possibility, if he can regain his old form when he was the Yankees most reliable starter. (Yeah, seems pretty long ago, doesn't it?)  During that time span in which he was dominant (May 12th through July 10), Vasquez had an ERA of 2.75!  It reminds you of when he was with the Braves last year, when he was behind only Tim Lincecum for most strikeouts in the league. 

    However, since the All Star Break, he has been a completely different pitcher.  He has a 6.69 ERA since then, and had been victim to a "dead arm" stage in which his fastball has dropped to the mid 80s. 

    After shortly being demoted to the bullpen, he came back and was better.  Who knows, maybe all Vasquez needed was a break; both physically by being in the bullpen, and emotionally by getting back into the starter.

    Knowing Joe Girardi, this a very possible option to him, and he is likely to do it, although...

He comes Back

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    Andy Pettitte could come back good as ever, easily sliding into the Yankees number two slot and becoming part of a dynamic duo with C.C. Sabathia and himself.  With him the Yanks would probably earn a World Series appearance if at the very least a playoff berth.

    Andy Pettitte is one of the most clutch pitchers in baseball.  He proved this last year in the playoffs when he won all three of the clinching games for New York.  This alone proves that he would help the Yankees down the stretch and they could possibly ride him and C.C.  Needless to say, the New York Yankees absolutely need Andy Pettitte if they want to get back to the World Series.