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Help is On the Way: Ivan Nova to Start Sunday, Andy Pettitte Returning Soon?

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Andy come back...
Andy come back...

The Yankees' starting rotation really has not been the same since Andy Pettitte fractured his leg on a line drive by Casey Kotchman in late June. Ivan Nova has missed a few weeks with rotator cuff inflammation, which might help explain why his season has been so disappointing after a strong rookie year in 2011. Fortunately, the Yankees deem Nova ready to return to the mound, as he will start on Saturday in place of Freddy Garcia.

Nova back in Yankees rotation; Pettitte could be next

Hoch's link also reports that Pettitte feels strong enough to pitch a real game, and manager Joe Girardi is considering bringing the southpaw back for a start next Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays. He would only be able to throw 60-65 pitches since he is not stretched out yet, but any Yankee fan would take a limited effort from Pettitte over what the rotation has offered in the past couple months outside of Hiroki Kuroda. Pettitte would be taking the rotation spot held by David Phelps, who is slumping, possibly as a result of wearing down over the season. WFAN's Sweeny Murti is very confident that Pettitte will be out there next week.

I think it's safe to say it would be a shock if Pettitte wasn't pitching next turn through the rotation.

If Pettitte even remotely resembles the guy who had a 131 ERA+ in nine starts from May to June of this year, the Yankees will take it. If both he and Nova (who had a 85 ERA+ before his injury) can recover successfully, the Yankees' starting rotation will be in much better shape than it is now. Nova even pitched his best baseball of the season while Pettitte was healthy, so it might be even better for Nova to return with the old lefty around to offer advice, too. The Yankes need good starting pitching performances now more than ever.