Andy Pettitte has given up ten runs in his last two outings but, despite this, he has declared himself ready for real live major league baseball:
“I’m going to let them let everybody know what we’ve got going on,” Pettitte said. “I feel like I’m ready, and I think they’re ready for me to come up.”
He brushed off all of those runs as just getting his work in. Which, to be fair to him, is something we allow guys in spring training and these past few starts have been spring training for him. Meanwhile, the guys he has been facing have been treating it like their season, which is what it is. Which isn’t to say that it’s a great thing that Pettitte has been getting lit up. But it may not be totally predictive of what he’ll do once he joins the Yankees.
It’ll be interesting to hear today what Brian Cashman thinks. And where Pettitte will fill in in the rotation. If you assume that he is going to replace David Phelps, his first start could be a week from today in Baltimore, which would be the next time Phelps’ turn comes up while Pettitte is on full rest.
Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.
No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.
Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.
Set some time aside to read this today.
This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.
De La Rosa has had elbow issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.
I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.
He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.