Andy Pettitte expects to return vs. O's next Sunday

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Andy Pettitte is scheduled to make his final rehab start with Double-A Scranton on Tuesday, according to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger. If all goes well, he will return from the disabled list next Sunday against the Orioles.

“I feel like I’m a healthy player and I’m good to go.”

Pettitte tossed four scoreless innings Thursday in his first minor league rehab start with the Thunder. The 38-year-old left-hander is 11-2 with a 2.88 ERA and 90/38 K/BB ratio over 18 starts this season. He has been sidelined since July 19 due to a strained right groin.

Assuming he returns as expected next Sunday, there should be enough time for him to get three starts leading into the postseason. A healthy and effective Pettitte will go a long way towards deciding their fate in October.

Didi Gregorius continues to be ridiculous

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Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius had another fantastic night last night. He went 3-for-3, hitting a home run for the fourth game in a row, had an RBI single and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances in New York’s 7-4 win over Minnesota.

For the year that gives Gregorius a line of .372/.470/.833, putting him atop the American League in average, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. He also leads the league in total bases (65) and RBI (29). He leads all of baseball in fWAR at 2.2, edging out Mike Trout despite the fact that Trout has played in two more games. He’s second behind Trout in homers with nine.

After last night’s game he insisted that he is not a home run hitter:

“I do have a lot of home runs, but it’s not like I am going out there to try to hit them . . . I’m not a power guy like Judge and Stanton, who hit 50 to 60 and up. Those are the guys who actually hit home runs. One year, let’s say, I hit five — then you ask me where that part went . . . if they go out, they go out. I’m just mostly trying to barrel it up and get a good swing . . . I try to hit line drives and if you check most of my home runs they were line drives,” he said. “It’s not like I am going up to hit deep fly balls.”

Given that he hit 25 homers last year and 20 the year before, he’s being a bit modest, even if he’s not likely to keep up this torrid pace. That modesty is not stopping some people from getting a bit carried away, of course:

 

We’ll forgive Bob for the hyperbole. Didi has been fun to watch.