It’s Mother’s Day, sure.
But it’s also Andy Pettitte Day.
As expected, the Bombers have promoted the veteran left-hander from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will start him on Sunday afternoon in their series-finale with the Mariners at Yankee Stadium.
Cody Eppley was optioned to the minor leagues on Sunday morning to open a 25-man roster spot for Pettitte and David Phelps has been demoted back to his long-relief role to create the necessary opening in the starting rotation.
Pettitte, 39, hasn’t appeared in a major league game since the 2010 season.
He agreed to a minor league contract with the Yankees in mid-March after spending a year in retirement and registered a 3.71 ERA in four rehab starts before getting clearance late last week to return to the Yanks.
Pettitte is expected to throw around 100 pitches Sunday against the light-hitting Seattle lineup.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.