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.
Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.
It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.
If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.
Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.
Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.