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Should Andy Pettitte's injury make the Yankees go out and get a pitcher?

Jul 19, 2010, 10:09 AM EDT

Andy Pettitte is going to miss 4-5 weeks with a groin injury.  That likely puts Sergio Mitre in the rotation.  Does that transform the Yankees from a team that appeared like it was going to stand-pat at the deadline into a serious buyer?

I’m sure the rumors will start flying now, but I’m less interested in what people are saying the Yankees will do than what they should do. On the one hand, losing Pettitte is a big deal. He’s been fantastic this year, and has certainly been the Yankees’ most consistent starter. Losing him for an extended period of time will hurt. On the other hand, the Yankees did give Mitre nine starts last year — and Chad Gaudin six — and somehow managed to survive well enough to win the World Series, so there’s no reason to panic simply because the Yankees will need to use the second string for a while.

Is Pettite missing six of seven starts really worth parting with young talent and taking on a big contract like, say, Roy Oswalt’s?  That answer may depend on A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes. If Burnett’s latest meltdown is evidence that he’s simply unable to get it together this season and if the Yankees are going to keep their word and limit Phil Hughes’ innings down the stretch, yeah, they may be pitching shy.  If Burnett’s temper tantrum is a wakeup call, however, and if the team is willing to push the envelope on Hughes’ workload, however, they may very well be able to survive the year without adding a top starter.

I don’t know that I have an answer for the Yankees. At least not one that goes beyond saying, in hindsight, it sure would have been nice for them to have pushed a but harder on Cliff Lee trade a couple of weeks ago. But that’s water under the bridge.  The Yankees now face some water in the roadway ahead. How deep is it? Do they risk driving through it, or do they take a detour?

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 19, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    Unlike the Red Sox, who lost MANY of their major pieces, the Yankees will desperately try to find a replacement for losing ONE of their major pieces because they can spend more money than anybody else in baseball and have to have a “perfect” team. The Yankees…starting Mitre? No way that can be allowed because it is against the rules of the Evil Empire.

  2. Old Gator - Jul 19, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    It’s time for the Borg to go out and bring in some young pitchers they don’t need to keep alive with the blood of street waifs anyway. At his age, Andy Pettite could sustain a groin injury just by staring at a picture of Angelina Jolie in a bikini in a beat up copy of Entertainment Weakly (misspelling intentional) in the waiting room of his chiropractor’s office.

  3. Jonny5 - Jul 19, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    Well they don’t need to, but most likely will do so, since the Media and fans of NYC’s baseball “Empire” will scream breach of contract, for the team not fulfilling their obligation to trot out a championship for them to cheer on every season. Cashman will go from “Best GM” in the game, to “worst GM” in the game in a matter of two weeks, if they don’t win at a .600 clip or better after losing Pettite. Don’t make Jay-Z stop wearing your gear Cashman!! Get a class A pitcher now!!! You have the Money, just do it and put all the fans outside of NY fans out of their misery…. Just do it quickly to spare us the torture, that’s all we ask.

  4. YankeesfanLen - Jul 19, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    Pithy snippets already posted aside, the was a reason the Universe went from disinterested to on the verge with Cliff Lee so long ago. Andy is tough and will be back, the question is where will this put his mindset for next year?
    All this dispels any doubt, which I never had, that a pitcher is on the way (recall Lee already was) and since we’re out at the mall, why not a bat or two? And Mitre, even Gaudin, will be further groomed.
    FAT Toad as trade-bait- priceless! He could sweat off a couple of tons in Houston.

  5. donnie23 - Jul 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    Man it’s a good thing Mitre would never be allowed to start for the Yankees. Oh wait he DID start 9 games last year after Chien-Ming Wang got hurt, and all they did was win the WS….

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    Because they couldn’t find another team to hand them a pitcher, like the Rangers almost did this year. And also because they had just spent half a BILLION dollars on the top 3 free agents.

  7. crotch_jenkins - Jul 19, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    There is no reason to trade for a pitcher when the Yankees have Kei Igawa waiting in Scranton.

  8. donnie23 - Jul 19, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    First off I wouldn’t call giving up a top 5 overall prospect (and some) in a trade as being “handed” Lee. And in case you haven’t noticed those players they spent half a billion dollars on are still on the team, and the payroll is higher than it was last year. By your logic wouldn’t that make them less likely to go after another pitcher?

  9. BC - Jul 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    Why not go get Ben Sheets? Can probably get him for a bucket of spit.

  10. Md23Rewls - Jul 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Oh yes, let’s pretend that Boston isn’t looking to trade for David DeJesus to fill in for Ellsbury, and hasn’t kicked the tires on Adrian Gonzalez in the past when Ortiz was struggling. Those poor Red Sox, whatever will they do? All you have to do is look to last year, when Varitek sucked and they went out and traded for an All Star catcher. If only they had the deep pockets and resources that the Yankees, did, though. Then they would make more trades when things aren’t going their way. As is, woe is them and their poor poor team. However will they get by?
    OK, hypocrisy pointed out, I’ll move on now. Mitre did indeed start for the Yankees a year ago, but a year ago he was working in the minors as a starter initially. This year, he’s a bullpen arm. There’s a big difference. You can’t just assume that he’ll slot right in to work he’s not accustomed to doing. I’d lean toward not trading for another arm, if possible, but it’s not like it’s crazy talk. Right now 3/5 of the rotation is filled with question marks. You have to see how Hughes will progress, if Burnett will right himself, and if Pettitte can get healthy. That I’m not even counting Vazquez as a question mark gives you an idea of how far in the dark the other three are.

  11. doctorfunke - Jul 19, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Hope the feds have tapped his phone for when he contacts his supplier for some more HGH. And I’m so glad to see a somewhat big story about the Yankees. Make sure they stay relevant.

  12. Md23Rewls - Jul 19, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    God help us, a baseball player used a drug. We’re doomed.

  13. Pisano - Jul 19, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    God forbid … They need to send that bum back to Japan ASAP !!!!!

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