Andy Pettitte was originally scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles, but Paul Casella of MLB.com reports that he has been scratched due to back spasms. The veteran southpaw first felt symptoms during Tuesday’s start against the Indians and had his back lock up on him again Thursday.
The good news for the Bombers is that it doesn’t appear to be anything serious. Yankees manager Joe Girardi hopes to have Pettitte back as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday against the Diamondbacks. Phil Hughes will get the ball this afternoon while Hiroki Kuroda will pitch tomorrow.
Pettitte has been fantastic in the early part of the season, allowing two runs in 15 innings over his first two starts. The 40-year-old has a 2.59 ERA in 14 starts since his comeback last year.
The Astros have released first baseman Jon Singleton, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Singleton, 26, was suspended for 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. He has had issues with marijuana in the post and admitted to being a drug addict several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself. I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”
Singleton played parts of two seasons in the majors in 2014-15 with the Astros, batting a combined .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in — appropriately — 420 plate appearances. He spent 2016 with Triple-A Fresno and 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi, putting up middling numbers.
If he can convince teams he’s still actively working to overcome his addiction, Singleton may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere. But his road back to the majors remains long. He was once a top prospect in the Phillies’ system, then was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal back in July 2011.