Yankees Face Tough Decisions With Return of Pettitte

Posted: March 21, 2012 by Rob Barros in MLB

With all the buzz around the Yankees involving the return of Andy Pettitte, one thing that has been left out is exactly that, who gets left out of the rotation battle once Pettitte is ready to pitch?

With questions still on the arm strength of Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia could wind up winning the fifth and final rotation spot coming out of Spring Training. This leaves the Yankees with a very interesting decision to make when Pettitte returns to Major League action. Most reports have Pettitte being ready around May, so he can have what would be a full Spring Training to get him back to strength. That would leave the Yankees around a month to evaluate their rotation.

Who knows, Garcia could end up being one of the Yankees more consistent starters during the month of April. That would make things even more complicated. But, what if Ivan Nova or even Michael Pineda have a tough start to the season? Would the Yankees consider knocking one of them down to the minors to work on their mechanics?

Most people have brought up the possibility of trading Garcia once Pettitte is back. But the thing is, the Yankees would need Garcia’s permission on any trade before June 16th. We know CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda would be safe from being demoted.

If Garcia gets off to a strong start in 2012 would that make the Yankees decisions to trade him easier or even more tough? Plenty of teams could be searching for a quality starting pitcher, and if Garcia does in fact prove he can still pitch well, Brian Cashman can expect some phone calls.

There are obviously a ton of questions on this topic, and there is plenty of time to see what the Yankees decide to do. But one thing is for sure, I will be following this very closely.

 

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