Andy Pettitte almost ready to face live hitters

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Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York has the update:

Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte threw a 35-pitch bullpen session off the mound on Sunday, and says he feels like he’s “over the hump.”

Pettitte, on the disabled list since June 27 with a fractured left ankle, came out of the session “feeling good” and said his command was good as well.

The veteran southpaw told reporters after Sunday’s workout that he wants to throw live batting practice “as quick as possible,” and manager Joe Girardi later suggested that it could happen within the next three days if there are no issues with lingering soreness.

Petttitte is still on track to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation by the middle of September. He had a 3.22 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 59/15 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings before fracturing his left ankle near the end of June.

Tigers, Royals to play a regular season game in Omaha next year

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Major League Baseball announced today that the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers will play a regular season game in Omaha, Nebraska next year to open the festivities for the College World Series.

The game will be played on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha two days before the first game of the Series. It will be televised nationally by ESPN. TD Ameritrade Park has a seating capacity of 24,000, with the ability to expand to 35,000 spectators. Which, um, probably means this will be one of the larger crowds for the Royals next year if the club’s current trajectory continues.

This will be the fourth small-park, special occasion regular season game for Major League Baseball in recent years. hIn July 2016 the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins played at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for service members. Last August the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals played in the inaugural Little League Classic, which took place at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. There will be a second Little League Classic in Williamsport this August between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.