NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Andy Pettitte knows he’ll be monitored closely by Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
But the veteran starter has his eyes on some lofty goals — especially for a 40-year-old.
“I know Joe is going to protect me as best he can as far as keeping my innings limited,” Pettitte said Wednesday. “But I want to throw 200 innings, make all my starts. Heck, I want to win 20 games, that’s what I want to do.”
Pettitte, who will turn 41 on June 15, hasn’t topped 200 innings since 2008. He has thrown two 20-win seasons, both with the Yankees. He had 21 in 1996 and repeated the task in 2003.
“I feel like I’m better now than I was at age 30,” said Pettitte. “Obviously, things hurt a little bit more. It takes a little bit longer to recover. As far as being able to put the ball where I want it to go, and read swings and handle things that come along during the course of the game, I don’t know if I am overshooting here, but I wouldn’t come back if I didn’t think I could do what I’ve been doing. That’s what I expect.”
Pettitte retired after the 2010 season, sat out 2011, and pulled a surprising about-face to return to the Yankees in 2012. He re-upped for one year at $12 million in November.
Pettitte went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA last season. He got a late start and then missed nearly three months after a comebacker fractured his left fibula in late June.
The left-hander said he wanted to play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, but decided against it after talking with Girardi, general manager Brian Cashman and team officials, who weren’t “too excited” about the idea.
“It was a tough decision,” he said. “I’ve never had a chance to play for my country, but it was a real big deal to me. And was really, really, really considering do that. It was one of those deals where I felt like this was probably the best move that I could make for this organization and for our team.”
Pettitte also said he was unsure whether 2013 would be his final season.
Think Pettitte has 20 wins and 200 innings in him? Be heard in the comments!