Andy Pettitte takes the mound for the Yankees tonight in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Orioles and yesterday the 40-year-old left-hander dropped some pretty strong hints that he plans to return in 2013.
“I know the competition and the desire to compete is still there and I don’t feel like I kind of got that itch out from the 70 innings or so that I threw this year,” Pettitte said, via Mark Hale of the New York Post. “I was expecting to do a little bit more work than that.”
He made similar comments upon returning from the disabled list last month, basically saying that he was initially certain this would be his final season but started changing his mind after breaking his ankle.
Performance-wise there’s certainly no reason for Pettitte to call it quits, as he posted a 2.87 ERA and 69/21 K/BB ratio in 75 innings for his best ERA and K/BB ratio since 2005 and his best strikeout rate since 2004.
And now he’s starting Game 2 of the playoffs for the team with the best record in the league.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.