Yankees Notebook: Pettitte start pushed back to Friday

Andy Pettitte seemed a little frustrated to be pushed back again. Credit: Getty Images
Andy Pettitte seemed a little frustrated to be pushed back again.
Credit: Getty Images

Andy Pettitte said his back is feeling better but when he told pitching coach Larry Rothchild and manager Joe Girardi, they had a different message.

Instead of pitching against Arizona on Tuesday the 40-year-old left-hander will open the three-game series in Toronto on Friday night.

“We’re going to be conservative,” Pettitte said. “We got guys that can pitch and I think they want me to throw a bullpen and stuff like that before trying to go out there Tuesday and just pitch without throwing a bullpen. So I’m going to pitch Friday.

“I’m on board to a certain extent. I just want to pitch. I understand it, but I just feel a ton better but I just want to pitch get back out there as soon as I can.”

It’s hard to blame Pettitte for being anxious since his two starts have been outstanding. Pettitte opened his 18th season by allowing a run and eight hits in eight innings against Boston on April 4 and followed that up by allowing one run and five hits in seven innings on Tuesday in Cleveland.

Pettitte will prepare for that start by throwing a routine bullpen session on Tuesday.

“He’s better but instead of saying, ‘Let’s throw a bullpen today and see how he feels,’ then if he has a setback then Friday becomes jeopardized,” Girardi said. “So we thought let’s give him until Tuesday. We feel that everything will be cleared up.”

Granderson stops by clubhouse, talks rehab

Toward the end of his 5 1/2 minute discussion about his rehab from a broken right forearm, Curtis Granderson pointed to a series of boxes sitting in his locker containing some possible items for protecting his forearm, and with a history of three broken bones, the center fielder realized that he needs to start wearing some kind of protection.

“One of these boxes has some stuff in it that I’m going to start playing around with,” Granderson said. “Thinking about it, I’ve broken three bones all due to pitches so I think it’s about time that I cover up a little bit.”

Granderson is progressing with his recovery from the injury he suffered on Feb. 24. He said he felt good while throwing over the past two days and that he anticipates increasing the distance of throws before swinging.

Granderson spent time shagging fly balls in the outfield during batting practice, but he still has to wear a brace.

However, he does not know when he can start swinging, which might make the May 1 return date some have used a bit too early.

“They want the throwing to be first,” Granderson said. “The swinging is something that could happen; the timetable of when is still to be determined. After further consideration with the doctors here and the doctors in Florida, it was once the throwing is good to go, then I can start swinging.”

Granderson also said that he would likely need 50 to 70 at-bats, which is the same amount he would have had in normal spring training. Since he is in extended spring training, those at-bats can come quicker than usual.

“You basically have to see how a guy’s rehab is going,” Girardi said. “He hasn’t swung a bat yet so until he swings a bat we’re really not going to know.”

“The great thing about being down in extended spring, I can get anywhere from five to 10 at-bats a day,” Granderson said. “The number of at-bats can accelerate quite quickly.”

Besides continuing his rehab with a one-day appearance at Yankee Stadium, Granderson also had an event planned with his Grand Kids foundation to see the new Jackie Robinson movie “42” with students from Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island, which lost its sports fields in Hurricane Sandy.

Yankees notes …

» Eduardo Nunez, who is day-to-day with a right wrist contusion, threw Sunday and will attempt to swing Monday to see if he can return from his second minor injury.

» Vernon Wells batted second for the 33rd time in his career last night in a lineup that could be employed against left-handed pitching.

» Chien-Ming Wang threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings Saturday in extended spring training against the Pirates.

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


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