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Is Andy Pettitte an All-Star in 2012?
The confluence of events on Tuesday -- the first vote tally released for the 2012 All-Star Game and Andy Pettitte's seven innings of two-hit, zero-run ball -- got us thinking.
Can Andy Pettitte really retire after the 2010 season, sit out all of 2011, return in early May 2012 and pitch his way to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City for MLB's Midsummer Classic?
Yes, he can.
In his first five starts, Pettitte is 3-2 with a 2.78 ERA. In 35.2 innings, he has struck out 32, allowed 29 hits and walked seven, good for a 1.01 WHIP. Opponents are hitting .225 against him, and 81.46 percent of pitches were thrown for strikes.
Here's a more complete breakdown of those starts:
|May 13||Mariners||6.1||7||4||2||3||L, 6-2||94||60|
|May 18||Reds||8.0||4||0||9||1||W, 4-0||115||78|
|May 23||Royals||7.0||7||2||8||1||W, 8-3||98||71|
|May 29||Angels||7.0||9||5||3||0||L, 5-1||108||73|
|June 5||Rays||7.1||2||0||10||2||W, 7-0||103||70|
Pettitte's 2.78 ERA would be seventh best in the AL, if he pitched enough innings to qualify for the leaderboard after Tuesday night's game. That 1.01 WHIP would be No. 5 in the AL.
Pettitte figures to have six more starts before the All-Star break (July 9-11). Those six starts, of course, will have a huge impact on Pettitte's candidacy for the All-Star Game.
Fans do not vote for pitchers on the team. Pitchers and reserve players for both leagues are determined through a combination of player ballot choices and selections by the All-Star manager. This year, Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers will manage the AL team.
MLB instituted a rule in 2010 that if a pitcher starts on the Sunday before the All-Star break, he will be replaced on the roster for Tuesday night's All-Star Game (the replaced pitcher is still recognized as an All-Star, though). So even if Pettitte is not among the first round of pitcher selections, it is very possible that he could be added to the roster as other pitchers drop off.
The first set of vote totals can be found here.