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For Sunday's home affair versus the Seattle Mariners, the New York Yankees will call up Andy Pettitte for his first start of the 2012 season.
In deep mixed leagues, it's worth getting a jump on adding him because of the skills he has displayed in his career and the ample opportunities for run support from this top-caliber lineup.
When the Yanks inked him in March the original timeline for his debut cited something around this time. Pettitte, who'll turn 40 in mid-June, has made just three starts, one each at Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A. Despite a combined 13 K's and three walks, he stumbled a bit at both steps up. Maybe his legal testimony in the Roger Clemens perjury trial has weighed on him, or maybe it's the fact he's trying to regain his form at an advanced age after a year-plus layoff.
Consider Pettitte a handier Jamie Moyer. Velocity wasn't a calling card in the latter stages of No. 46's career; his cutter and pitch selection reigned supreme. Pettitte's location will be a primary examination point; if he can't spot with the same precision he deployed as recently as 2010, he might wish he were on the stand instead.
What aided Pettitte in his former final season was the addition of a two-seam fastball, which offered another weapon to sustain his nibbling approach while confidently and frequently challenging hitters in the strike zone. Doing so to minor leaguers is merely a tune-up.
New York wants him to eat innings and bring some semblance of stability to a ravaged rotation. Fantasy baseball owners should do the same while expecting craftiness and middling numbers that have a better shot at earning wins than they would on many other clubs. He has the guile to hold a rotation gig all year, but consider Pettitte a matchup play until we get enough of a book on his 2012 incarnation. His first tilt doesn't look so bad.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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