Yanks’ Girardi Puts Foot Down, Assures Starters That Pettitte Is Waiting In Wings

NEW YORK (WFAN) – Yankees manager Joe Girardi has a wealth of pitching in camp this spring. And now with legendary Bronx Bomber Andy Pettitte back in the fold, it seems like Girardi’s position is an enviable one for a skipper to be in.

It certainly may be, but make no mistake about it — Girardi isn’t resting on his laurels when it comes to motivating his projected starters.

As it stands, the Yankees have seven solid starting pitchers in camp: CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia and now Pettitte.

Although each member of that group certainly feels that they are deserving of a spot on the staff, Girardi is making it clear that the aforementioned hurlers better not get too confident, or a certain 240-game winner may take their spot.

“If you don’t want somebody to take your job, pitch that way; it’s really simple,” Girardi told the New York Daily News. “Let’s say the job was given to you and you were struggling; they’re going to look for someone to give the job to. You have to produce. That’s the world we live in in New York. It’s not like, ‘You’re this guy and we’re going to give you 20 starts no matter what happens.’ We don’t live in that world here.”

Pettitte, 39, hasn’t pitched in a year-and-a-half, so the Yanks are expected to take it slow with the 16-year Major League veteran.

The iconic left-hander is expected to debut in early May.

Which hurler doesn’t belong in the Yankees’ rotation? And do you like Girardi’s approach of motivating his starters? Let us know in the comments section!

  • Paul

    Joe’s approach is the way to go. Garcia should go to the bullpen as the long man and be ready in case one of the young guys has problems or there is an injury. However, if Pineda, Nova and Hughes need to perform — NOW. If Nova has more outings like the 1st two innings his last start — AAA. Cashman can also explore a Nova or Hughes trade to a pitching poor team like Kansas City for Billy Butler or Alex Gordon for example. Nothing should happen until Andy Pettitte returns to the rotation and does not quit due to injury or just says, “I can’t pitch at the level I need to”.

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