Andy Pettite's 19 postseason wins still remains to be an unbroken record in the MLB. (Image: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Grading the Yankees: Andy Pettitte

For those of us who didn’t know what to expect going into 2012, we certainly didn’t see Andy Pettitte being a part of those plans. The now 40-year-old veteran showed us in 2012 that despite being out of baseball for a year, he still has some fight left in him. When Pettitte suffered a fractured ankle back in the end of June, nobody knew when and if he’d return in 2012. He managed to pitch in three more games before heading to the postseason in which he pitched in two games. So, what did 2012 overall show us from Pettitte? Well, it showed us that once again age means nothing and had Andy not suffered that injury, who knows how good his numbers would have been this season.

**Be sure to take a look at the rest of the Grading the Yankees series.**

Looking at what Andy did this season, it’s a bit hard to judge it against other seasons except his 2004. This season, Pettitte started in 12 games and pitched 75.1 innings; in 2004, he started in 15 games and pitched 83 innings. The stark contrast between those two years is ERA. Pettitte’s 2.87 ERA in 2012 versus 3.90 in 2004 is something that should not be overlooked.

Taking a closer look at Pettitte’s short 2012 campaign, you’ll see he got more batters to swing at pitches out of the strike zone (33.2 percent of the time), which is the highest in his career. He struck out 8.24 batters per nine innings pitched (only the second time he was higher than eight in his career), while maintaining a good walk rate (2.51 per nine).

Pettitte also recorded the highest ground ball rate of his career at 56.3 percent and registered his highest left-on-base rate of 80.2 percent. It isn’t difficult to understand why the Yankees are looking to bring Pettitte back in 2013.

Pettitte seemed ageless out on the mound in some starts and aside from two five-run outings, he was rather dominant. With the rest of the rotation leaning on Hiroki Kuroda‘s starts, Pettitte, at least for the time he was able to pitch this season, was the quiet anchor.

Grade: A-

Comments:

  • Makes an excellent effort
  • Takes pride in work
  • Works neatly
  • Thinks and works independently

Conclusion: 

Had we seen more out of Pettitte in 2012, I think we would’ve gotten the same, consistent production he was giving us before his injury. Even then, Andy came back to pitch magnificently in three games before the season ended. Regardless, it was amazing to see the effort he gave out on the mound this season, especially since he hadn’t pitched after retiring at the end of 2010. We will see him next year? It remains unknown at this point as Pettitte has been rather mum about the situation, but signs indicate we may see him in 2013.

Tags: Andy Pettitte New York Yankees

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