Andy Pettitte continues to make his way through the various levels of the Yankees’ minor league system, tuning up for a return to Major League Baseball.
His latest stop? The Double-A Trenton Thunder.
As noted by Thunder beat writer Mike Ashmore, Pettitte allowed seven hits and four runs — three earned — over five innings Wednesday night against the Tigers’ Double-A affiliate from Erie, Pennsylvania, walking one but striking out three. He sat around 88 mph with his fastball — which is normal — and tossed 59 of his 81 pitches for strikes.
Pettitte will likely need at least two more rehab starts to get sufficiently stretched out for major league action.
He inked a minor league deal with the Yankees this winter after sitting out the 2011 season. That pact became extra crucial with this afternoon’s revelation that Michael Pineda needs season-ending shoulder surgery.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.
Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.
The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.