Highlights from Brian Cashman interview

Here are a few highlights from Yankees GM Brian Cashman's appearance on "The Ian O'Connor Show" on ESPN New York 1050 on Sunday morning:

* On the return of Andy Pettitte: "How does he respond to being a year out? I don’t know. I believe he’ll be fine. Because he did the transition from power pitcher from the left side to a guy with great pitchability here after the injuries he suffered in his career. … I gotta believe all the equipment’s still rip-raring to go, but we’ll see."

* On Michael Pineda, and his lack of velocity so far this spring: "It’s a curiosity. It’s one I can’t give you answers to. I’m not gonna run from it. He obviously has more gas in that tank, in terms of velo. We haven’t seen it yet.

"It appears to me, if I had to guess, I don’t think he did much work this winter. ... He showed up 20 pounds heavier than he was with Seattle at the same time last year. I bet you it’s the first time he picked up a ball and started working out, and he’s probably using -- it doesn’t make it right, if this is the case, but I can’t tell you it’s the case -- but he’s probably using spring training to get himself in shape.

"Is this an issue? I don’t know. The big thing I take comfort in is, his secondary pitches are so good -- the slider and the developing change -- I can just tell you, the hitters are getting such poor swings off of him, even the outs are soft. We have a really good pitcher as is right now, and he’ll be a great pitcher when that velo comes back."

* On who is the team to beat in the American League: "I think it’s easy to say Texas is the team to beat, given who they are, what they’ve done, what they’ve accomplished for two straight years in the league. But there are a lot of teams right now vying for it, and we’re one of those teams.

"I think we are a team that’s good enough to contend for a world championship, based on the talent we have, yes. I feel very comfortable saying that. But unfortunately I think there’s six teams, seven teams that can easily say the same thing."