On Sunday, Joe Girardi made it sound as if the idea was off the table, but on Monday it was solidly back on: The possibility that the comebacking Andy Pettitte might pitch Wednesday at The Boss in the Yankees' spring training finale against the Mets.
"I think he's going to pitch in a game for us,'' Girardi said before tonight's game against the Marlins in Miami. "We're going to have to see the exact date on that.''
Since Pettitte is not with the team in Miami -- he in fact threw a bullpen this morning in Tampa -- and is not on the travel roster for Tuesday's game against the Mets in St. Lucie, that leaves Wednesday's game as his last opportunity to pitch before the club breaks camp for the start of the season. Freddy Garcia will start the game but there is a chance Pettitte could throw an inning or two in relief.
"Well, he could pitch in a minor league game,'' Girardi said. "(But) there’s no guarantee he won’t pitch Wednesday. I can’t tell you if he is or he isn’t. I want to talk to him, see how he physically feels, and then decide after his bullpen today. ''
Pettitte threw a two-inning simulated game on Saturday, throwing 33 pitches to Dante Bichette Jr. and Benjamin Gamel.
"We’ll see how he feels in the next couple days and we’ll make an evaluation,'' Girardi said. "There isn't anything that would tell me we need to take a step backwards, or that he’s not going to be on a schedule. I still want to ask him and see how he feels when I talk to him Tuesday or Wednesday. If he wasn’t to throw Wednesday, would I consider that a setback? Absolutely not.''
But if he were, it can only be viewed a big step forward.