Earlier this afternoon, there was a brief news tidbit saying that Yankees starter Andy Pettitte had taken a ball off of his ankle and left the field during his start against the Indians today. Well, the news about the ankle is in, and it's a shocker: Pettitte has a broken ankle, and will miss at least six weeks. In a bit of good news for the Yankees, Pettitte's ankle won't need surgery. On the heels of CC Sabathia's groin strain that has knocked him out until the All-Star Break, this is not good news for the Yankees.
Pettitte was having a damn good season this year in his return to the majors. Coming into today's game, he had struck out 59 batters in 58 2/3 innings, posting a 3.22 ERA in nine starts. He was just adding to those numbers today, allowing one run over four innings to the Indians, walking one and striking out seven.
With Freddy Garcia starting for Sabathia on Friday against the White Sox, the Yankees are going to need a starter to fill Pettitte's role in the rotation. There are plenty of available options on the market, and that's where the Yankees may need to look if they want a replacement, because their farm system isn't exactly stocked right now. Manny Banuelos has been on the DL since mid-May, Dellin Betances has walked nearly as many as he's struck out, John Maine has been awful in three starts….oh my god, we could be looking at Ramon Ortiz finally making his return to the majors.
If Sabathia is OK to return after the All-Star Break, Pettitte's injury isn't the worst thing in the world thanks to the presence of Garcia. But if Sabathia's injury is more severe, or Garcia is awful…the Yankees could jump into the market for a starting pitcher like Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster, or Matt Garza. And that's a scary thought, with as loaded as the lower levels of their farm system are.
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