Andy Pettitte has had two rough starts in a row. And he doesn’t chalk it up to the ebb and flow of the game:
“It’s a struggle. The issue is everything again. Everything you want to do as a starting pitcher I’m not able to do right now. I had no command of my fastball, wasn’t really hitting my off-speed stuff when I wanted to. It was just a battle again. You wonder what was going on in the last start, and then you follow up with this one … It’s been a long time since I hadn’t had a feel for my pitches.”
He says nothing is wrong physically, but it sounds like nothing else is right at all.
Bad starts happen, but it’s not often you hear a guy so open about feeling lost. Usually it’s all cryptic stuff about “gotta make some adjustments …” or whatever.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.