Somewhat disheartening news about Andy Pettitte's injury is trickling into the blogosphere. With minor, nagging pain, it sounds like we shouldn't expect him back this month, but he should be back before the end of the season, and well before the playoffs.
The Yankees have done pretty well in the month that Pettitte's been out so far, losing just a game in the standings to the Red Sox in the race to avoid finishing in 3rd place in the AL East. In fact, at this point, math makes a postseason apperance a near certainty.
Here's the interesting question: assuming Andy is back by mid-early September and healthy, what would the Yankees playoff rotation look like? Even worse (hypothetically), what if he's not? I guess what I'm going after is what it would take to see Phil Hughes in the playoff rotation, because at this point, he's really been the Yankees second best starter this season, performance and durability considered.
Hughes is probably due 6-7 more starts before the season ends, which should put him around 175 innings by season's end. So, yes, he will hit his innings limit. At the same time, there are only three Game 4s in the entire postseason, and if the other options mean carrying both AJ Burnett and Javier Vazquez's bloated ERAs in the postseason rotation, or giving must-win starts to somebody like Dustin Moseley or Sergio Mitre if Pettitte is still hurt, I think I might be more willing to take my chances with pushing Hughes another 15-20 innings over his limit.
If Andy comes back, and/or Javier Vazquez pitches well down the stretch, I suspect this becomes a non-issue. I truly hope that's how it turns out.
- Here's something you've probably never seen before: color photos of Babe Ruth. If you read through the posts and the bottom of the page, it sounds like these almost happened by accident - the photographer assigned to the job only had color film. How much have things changed though? In the old days, ballplayers wore wool uniforms, and it was customary for men to wear a suit to the game. How hot do you think that got?
- It's About The Money gives a quick breakdown of Jeter's struggles this season. If there's light at the end of the tunnel, nothing seems to suggest he's lost a step on the basepaths or lost bat speed, so one would think that this is something that can be fixed. He was proactive about improving lateral movement to improve his defense a few offseasons ago, so let's hope he can work the same magic twice.