Touch 'Em All: Do Yankees have worries?

Posted: March 18, 2012

The Yankees signing 39-year-old Andy Pettitte, who spent all of last season throwing baseballs to his kids, has heartened a lot of American League teams.

If the Yanks were sure that their other six potential starters were healthy and effective, they'd have kept Pettitte as a spring-training workout director and not given him $2.5 million.

But, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, "Among an out-of-shape Michael Pineda's disappearing fastball velocity, a heretofore-underperforming Phil Hughes and an injured Freddy Garcia, the Yankees face rotation questions."

Only CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda are sure to start the season in the rotation. (Ivan Nova has a contract option remaining and could be sent to Scranton.)

So Pettitte, one of the "Core Four" who won five World Series titles, may be seeking a sixth.

Ageless Rivera

Another of the Core Four (or Core Three now that Jorge Posada was sent into retirement) extended one of the most amazing streaks in spring training history.

Mariano Rivera threw his third consecutive scoreless inning Saturday, using just eight pitches to extend his spring training stretch to 24 innings without allowing an earned run.

The last earned run scored against the great closer was on March 15, 2008.

Jimenez struggles

Cleveland's Ubaldo Jimenez gave up six runs in less than four innings on Saturday in a 9-2 loss to Cincinnati in Goodyear, Ariz. In 92/3 innings over four spring starts, the righthander has allowed 15 hits and walked a startling nine batters with an unsightly 9.31 ERA.

"Ubaldo had very little command of anything," manager Manny Acta said. "It took him 80-some pitches to get three-plus innings.

"He's just not making pitches."

Cleveland traded four prospects, including former first-round draft picks Alex White and Drew Pomeranz, to Colorado for the former NL all-star at last year's trading deadline.

"As a pitcher, you don't want to let anybody score, but you are trying to work on your pitches," Jimenez said. "I never seem to do well in spring training. Last year, I got hurt. I just want to get out of here healthy this year."

He's not Dunn

White Sox slugger Adam Dunn is hitting .308 with two homers, six RBIs and six walks this spring.

Perhaps most impressively, the one-time strikeout machine has whiffed only once. His eye at the plate seems to have returned after he hit just .159 with 11 homers, 177 strikeouts and 75 walks last season.

Contact staff writer Don McKee at

This article contains information from the Associated Press.