The Yankees haven’t made a guess as to when Andy Pettitte will be ready to start a major league game. But we can probably rule out all of April.
The veteran left-hander told George King III of the New York Post on Saturday morning in Yankees camp that his legs “are not in shape” yet and that he must get them properly tuned up before he can progress to the next step in his throwing program.
So far, Pettitte has made it through two innings of simulated action. “The last thing I want to do is rush something,” he said Saturday. “At this point, it wouldn’t be smart. [The simulated game] was great, but it’s not a real game. It’s still not another team.’’
Pettitte signed a minor league contract with the Yankees in mid-March. He sat out the entire 2011 season after posting an 11-3 record, 3.28 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 101/41 K/BB ratio across 129 innings in 2010.
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.
Yadier Molina suffered a mild ligament tear in his left thumb on September 20, but the Cardinals announced Monday that they remain “optimistic” he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming NLDS.
Molina visited a hand specialist Monday and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that he’ll have a custom splint built in hopes that he’ll be able to hit and catch. He’s still not 100 percent, but even a limited Molina could be better than the alternative. That would be Tony Cruz in this case.
The Cardinals will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Game 1 of the NLDS will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis.