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No decision yet on Pettitte

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte delivers in

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte delivers in the first inning of a Double-A baseball game with the Trenton Thunder against the Erie Seawolves in Trenton, N.J. (April 25, 2012) Credit: AP

Since Andy Pettitte announced his comeback March 16, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has reiterated a simple premise regarding the 39-year-old: no rush.

And so, even with Pettitte declaring himself "ready'' after his sixth minor-league start Sunday, Cashman isn't in a hurry.

"Today is an off day, so we have time,'' he said Monday. "We're not making a call today.''

Asked if he is leaning toward giving Pettitte one more minor-league start, Cashman said, "I wouldn't say.''

Pettitte made it clear Sunday where he thinks his next start should be. "I feel like I'm ready to go up,'' he said, "and I think they're ready for me to come up.''

Some kind of call will come soon enough. The Yankees will decide whether to have Pettitte make another minor-league start or promote him to the big leagues -- and if that's the choice, which pitcher will lose his rotation spot.

Cashman said among those consulted will be Joe Girardi, Larry Rothschild, Scranton / Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley, Scranton pitching coach Scott Aldred, minor-league pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras, talent evaluators and, of course, Pettitte.

Pettitte gave up five runs (three earned) and eight hits in five uneven innings at Rochester's Frontier Field. He struck out five and walked two in an outing Cashman characterized as getting "his work in.''

Cashman said that although Pettitte didn't bring it up, those watching him said he had difficulties with the Frontier Field mound, something other pitchers have complained about. "After watching a big-leaguer struggle with it, they're going to rebuild it,'' Cashman said. "It's just not very good.''

Ivan Nova, David Phelps and CC Sabathia will start against the Rays at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night through Thursday night. Hiroki Kuroda is likely to follow Friday night against the Mariners, with Saturday a possibility for Pettitte if he's inserted into the rotation.

But that also would be Phil Hughes' day, and the righthander -- whom Cashman repeatedly has said he sees as a starter -- is coming off his best outing of the season. Hughes allowed three runs and six hits in 62/3 innings, his longest outing of the year. He threw 115 pitches and his velocity held steady throughout. In fact, his final pitch came in at 95 mph -- and was hit out of the park by Humberto Quintero.

"He was great,'' Cashman said of Hughes. "Had good stuff. He was terrific. It's all about getting results whether you're throwing hard or not. He pitched well.''

Whether it was good enough to keep him in the rotation, or whether it will be Phelps who's bumped to the bullpen the next time through to make room for Pettitte, Cashman stayed consistent.

He wasn't saying.

 

Extra basesCashman said no surgery date has been set to repair Mariano Rivera's ACL tear. He said Rivera was seen by Dr. Christopher Ahmad at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Dr. David Altchek of the Hospital for Special Surgery . . . The Yankees, swept by the Rays in St. Petersburg to start the season, get another crack at one of the best rotations in baseball Tuesday night. "As good as it gets,'' Alex Rodriguez said of the Rays' starters.The Yankees will face James Shields, Jeff Niemann and David Price.

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