After tossing a scoreless inning last Wednesday in the Yankees’ Grapefruit League finale against the Mets, Andy Pettitte made his first minor league start this evening with High-A Tampa.
According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Pettitte allowed one run on two hits over three innings while striking out two, walking one and throwing one wild pitch. Both hits were doubles and the lone run scored on a sacrifice fly in his second inning of work. He threw 26 out of 32 pitches for strikes.
Pettitte, 39, came out of retirement last month and signed a one-year, $2.5 million minor league contract with the Yankees. He’s effectively going through what we’d normally see from a starting pitcher during spring training, so he’ll likely need three or four more starts before being fully stretched out. If all goes well, he should make his return to the majors in May.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.
Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.
Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.