The start of the 2013 season was one that the Yankees could only dream of. Their dream did come true in April. But as May finishes that dream is now coming back to earth as players such as Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay begin to slump as well as the fact you had games where the Yankees were using their third string catcher and even fourth string shortstop. Fortunately, first baseman Mark Teixeira and infielder Kevin Youkilis appear ready to return. While it is a boost to the lineup, they are not even the most important players returning from injury.
That comes next week when Andy Pettitte returns from a tight left trapezius. Why Andy Pettitte? Even though Teixeira and Youkilis make the Yankees lineup look more respectable, their production when on the field has decreased. Andy Pettitte's production has only gotten better with age and he provides a needed boost to the pitching staff which, while still looks good, has concerns. #1 C.C Sabathia, who has logged almost 1000 innings in pinstripes (that is only in the regular season) and has shown a decrease in velocity. #2 Phil Hughes whose only consistency is his inconsistency. In one start he can give up 2 runs in 7 innings or 7 runs in 1 inning. #3 Vidal Nuno, who? Exactly.
What Pettitte provides is depth as well as a chance to win every time he goes out there and pitches. While Teixeira and Youkilis each cannot replace a hall-of-fame shortstop, a lack of hitting at catcher, or a 40+ home run hitting outfielder. Pettitte's return as well as the eventual return of Michael Pineda will give the Yankees a deep, dangerous rotation & one that will be tough to match up against in the American League.
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