August 18, 2010

Pettitte suffers setback, out until ‘at least September’

Pettitte CC
The Yankees are being extra cautious with Andy Pettitte, who suffered a setback in his rehab yesterday and won’t return to the rotation until “at least September,” Joe Girardi said.

As Joel Sherman wrote in his column this morning, this means the Yankees will rely on CC Sabathia more than ever. With Javier Vazquez returning to his ugly, early-season form, and my bold prediction, the Yankees will have to hope for the best from A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes, who in my mind now are the likely candidates to tag along with Sabathia in the playoff rotation.

This may be tough for Yankees fans to grasp, as Pettitte was so valuable to the Yankees this season, but the fact is he’s 38 years old and having trouble recovering from a groin injury.

When a manager says a player is out at least until the last whole month of the season, it implies his return is in doubt. Of course, I’m  hoping Pettitte can return for the playoff rotation — he won the clinching game of all three playoff series last year, the first ever to do so — but, sadly, I don’t expect him to return.

Photo credit: Keith Alllison

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