Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees and his wife Laura Pettitte attend a press conference to announce his retirement on February 4 2011. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Spring Training rolls along, and the Detroit Tigers are 12-1 and the Oakland A's are 13-4, while the Tampa Bay Rays are 4-10 and the Texas Rangers are 4-11. Does any of that matter? Almost certainly not. The latest from around MLB...
- The New York Yankees have signed Andy Pettitte to a minor league deal, as the 39-year-old attempts to come back from a case of retirement. Pettitte didn't pitch at all in 2011, but put up a 3.28 ERA in 2010. FanGraphs thinks it's hard to project a rough season for Pettitte, primarily because he's never had one. Then again, you never know what you're going to get from a player who takes a year off from the game. Pettitte will require extended Spring Training and likely a stint in the minors to get big league ready, but, once he is, he could be put right into the rotation. Whom he would replace - the Yankees already have Sabathia, Pineda, Kuroda, Nova, and Garcia in the rotation, with Phil Hughes in the pen - remains to be seen, but manager Joe Girardi has already said that a six-man rotation is not a realistic solution.
- The Nationals officially cut Bryce Harper this weekend, and, as expected, he'll begin the year at AAA. Manager Davey Johnson, who was pretty vocal about wanting Harper to break camp with the big team, gave a bunch of blustery reasons for the demotion (don't want to rush Harper, want Harper to get more work in center field, etc.), but we all know the real reason: by delaying Harper's start by a month or so, the Nationals gain an extra year of control over Harper. The demotion remains the right decision.
- Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson pranked his former teammate, catcher Mike Napoli, by tweeting Napoli's cell phone number. Heck of a prank. Wilson subsequently "pranked" Napoli by punching him in the gut. (Kidding.)
- St. Louis Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter, who has been dealing with a bulging disk in his neck, threw 40 pitches yesterday, and now is just waiting to see how his body responds today. There are still no plans to limit his workload in 2012, despite the 273.1 innings the soon-to-be 37-year-old threw last year.
- Beyond the Box Score wonders if and how we can measure the impact of defensive miscues on a pitcher's subsequent performance - in other words, when your shortstop bobbles a ball, allowing the batter to reach, continuing an inning that should be over, and you then give up a homer, how much of that is your fault? Both runs are "unearned," but are they really?
- It's been a rough Spring for the Kansas City Royals, who've already lost catcher Salvadore Perez for a few months, and now might be without closer Joakim Soria, thanks to the ever-dreaded "sore elbow."