Andy Pettitte tosses five shutout innings in return from broken ankle

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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.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.