Andy Pettitte gets standing ovation, pitches scoreless inning

5 Comments

Andy Pettitte took the mound for an inning against the Mets in his spring debut Wednesday and retired three of the four hitters he faced, allowing just a single in the process.

“It felt good to be able to get out there and get the inning in, especially in a big league game” he said. “It definitely felt a little weird, there’s no doubt about it. Once I got out there, it was just like you never left. It was fun.”

Pettitte received a standing ovation while coming out to pitch the sixth inning. Prospect Cory Vaughn led off the frame with a hit, but Pettitte was able to work around it.

“Obviously, anytime you get fans to cheer for you, that’s a good thing,” he said. “It’s all coming back. I feel like the stuff is there. I just have to build stamina.”

Pettitte, attempting a comeback after a brief one-year retirement,  is expected to spend the next month working his way through the Yankees’ minor league system. If all goes well, he could join the rotation at the beginning of May.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
3 Comments

Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.