Having already placed CC Sabathia on the DL Wednesday, the Yankees suffered an even bigger blow this afternoon: Andy Pettitte will miss at least six weeks due to a fractured left ankle suffered when he was hit by a comebacker in the 5-4 win over the Indians.
Pettitte was removed from Wednesday’s game in the fifth inning after taking a Casey Kotchman liner off his leg. He made several warm-up throws afterwards and even threw a pitch to Lou Marson, but he limped around immediately afterwards and was replaced by Cody Eppley.
Kotchman’s shot went as a single to lead off the fifth. Marson followed that with another single and came around to score off the Yankees’ second reliever of the inning, resulting in the lone earned run charged to Pettitte.
Pettitte also allowed an unearned run following an Alex Rodriguez error in the third inning.
Pettitte had seven strikeouts in four-plus innings before departing today. Maybe the Yankees’ best starter in the month and a half since he returned to the majors, he’ll head to the DL sporting a 3.22 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in nine starts.
The Yankees already intended to have Freddy Garcia replace Sabathia in the rotation through the All-Star break. Now they might need Adam Warren to step in as well. Warren is 5-5 with a 3.86 ERA in Triple-A, but he’s gotten stronger as the year has gone on; in June, he has a 2.03 ERA in five starts.
According to STATS, INC., the average game in 2015 was 2 hours, 56 minutes. That’s six minutes faster than games in 2014.
The gains came in the first half, when games averaged 2:53. Second half games averaged three hours even. One can probably thank the expanded rosters in September for that, as games then see many more pitching changes. Of course, it’s likely that second half games were faster in 2015 than 2014 as well given the rules changes.
Those changes: agreement to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box and the installation of clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks in ever ballpark.
It remains to be seen if MLB stays satisfied with that modest improvement or if chooses to go the way Triple-A and Double-A leagues did. They installed 20-second pitch clocks and started penalizing violators with balls and strikes. Triple-A’s two leagues, the International and Pacific Leagues, saw game-time decreases by 13 and 16 minutes, respectively.
I’m so old I remember when general managers used to run baseball operations departments. Now they’re basically assistants.
The latest example: the Oakland Athletics have promoted Billy Beane to vice president of baseball operations and have named David Forst general manager. Forst has been with the A’s for 16 years and has been Beane’s assistant for 12 years, so it’s not exactly a situation in which Forst will be making the final calls. The official move came today, though the move has been in the works for some time, it seems.
Someone with a lot of good front office access is going to write a good story this winter about the title inflation going on in Major League Baseball over the past year. And it’s gonna be great when one of his or her sources breaks the pattern of saying “well, baseball transactions are so much more complex these days . . . ” and admits “hey, if Theo gets a fancy title and La Russa gets a fancy title I WANT A FANCY TITLE TOO.”
Not that it’s much of a secret as it is.