Making his first start since suffering a broken ankle on June 27, Andy Pettitte returned to the Yankees’ rotation this afternoon with five shutout innings against the Blue Jays.
Pettitte cruised through Toronto’s lineup, allowing just four singles and two walks while needing 75 pitches to record 15 outs. He struck out three.
And with the Yankees up 3-0 manager Joe Girardi decided to have Pettitte exit on a high note, turning to the bullpen to begin the sixth inning. Toronto’s offense is pretty weak at this point–Jeff Mathis batted fifth and the highest slugging percentage in the lineup was .416 by Colby Rasmus–but it was definitely a very encouraging return for Pettitte.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.
That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.
Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.
FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals are expected to consider Cal Ripken Jr. for their managerial vacancy. Ripken, of course, was recently reported to have been considered by the club the last time the job was open.
This could be a courtesy. And if you’re a Nats fan, you have to hope it is, right? Because the single biggest argument in favor of Matt Williams when he was hired was that he was a top player in his day, wasn’t too far removed from his playing career and could be a good clubhouse guy who understood what made major leaguers tick. His lack of experience was brushed off. All of which would be the same thing for Ripken, except he doesn’t even have the coaching experience Williams had and is even farther removed from his playing days.
I know he’s famous and everything, but if the Nationals’ 2015 season is evidence of anything, perhaps it should be evidence that sometimes it’s useful to have a manager who has actually, you know, made a pitching change once in his professional life.