The first person I saw when I entered George Steinbrenner Field was Dellin Betances, which made me think about how deep the ramifications of the Andy Pettitte signing could become, going on the assumption Pettitte returns as the 2010 All-Star Pettitte.
Let's start with the Buzz, Betances and the just cut Manny Banuleos. Now, the two top Yankees pitching prospects have even more time to develop.Even without Pettitte, the most likely scenario for Banuelos and Betances was for them to spend the year in Triple-A refining their stuff.
If the Yankees were to need a spot starter, the thought was that David Phelps, Adam Warren, D.J. Mitchell would get the call. But, you look at the Yankees' pitching depth cart and, at the moment, Banuelos and Betances are way down the line.
1. CC Sabathia
2. Hiroki Kuroda
3. Ivan Nova
4. Andy Pettitte
5. Michael Pineda
6. Phil Hughes
7. Freddy Garcia
8. David Phelps
9. D.J. Mitchell
10. Adam Warren
11. Dellin Betances
12. Manny Banuelos
It is very subjective list as, after CC, you could decide that guys should be up or down a spot or two.
Pettitte plans to take it year-by-year, but who knows how long he plays now? At this point, you would have to think he will only re-retire when he knows he can't do it anymore. So if he can still pitch, this may not just be a 2012 thing. We already know that if Pettitte had said yes in December, then Kuroda almost certainly wouldn't be a Yankee.
The Yankees now are so deep that everyone, outside of CC, is competing for spot. While assured a spot out of spring by Joe Girardi, Kuroda falls in that mix, too, because once the season starts, he is going to need to pitch well to stay in the rotation.
Nova, whose attitude is as perfect as his record at the end of last season, summed it up best.
"I always say that I'm in competition," Nova said. "It doesn't matter if I win 20 games, I'm always in competition."
Pineda is going to have to compete, as well. In the midst of the Pettitte story, Cashman stuck up for Pineda.
“[His fastball is] not where it was in the summer time, but I have watched every one of his starts except for one and I see how the hitters are reacting to him,’’ Cashman said. “His secondary pitches are excellent."
Pettitte could give Pineda time to develop his change more, find his fastball and Pinedea could be the eventual heir to Pettitte's Game 2 throne.
For now, Pettitte might be the heir to Pettitte's Game 2 throne.