Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yanks to Pettitte: Take it easy

From Anthony McCarron:
As part of the Yankees' plan to take it easy on the starters they relied on so heavily during the postseason, Andy Pettitte began his winter throwing program 15 days later than normal.

That's partly why it felt so good for Pettitte to get back on a mound Tuesday when he threw his first bullpen session of the spring. Asked jokingly if he remembered how to approach a pitcher's mound, Pettitte smiled and said, "Yeah, it's been a couple weeks since I got on there. But it felt good to get going. It's part of the process, building up your arm strength."

Joe Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland called Pettitte during the winter and asked him to push back his throwing because the Yanks used only him, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett in the postseason.


"They wanted me to do it and I told them I would do it," Pettitte said of delaying his throwing. "You're kind of not crazy about it because I'm a creature of habit."

Still, Pettitte said, he really did not mind waiting. He usually starts on New Year's Day, but began throwing Jan.16.
Here's another quote from Pettitte via Chad Jennings:
"He pays attention," Pettitte said. "He's constantly thinking, 'What can help us? What can keep us healthy?' like no manager I've been around. He wants us to feel good. He wants to take care of us, whether it's baseball, our families, that's the way Joe is. He's constantly thinking of ways to help us in life and to get us through this baseball season."
Once again Girardi is showing his awareness of players and their health. Besides talent, having a healthy team is the most important thing for any team that fights to make the playoffs every year, and Girardi knows it. Having the players buy into the system and respect Girardi is also huge.

Last year, with the exception of Wang and A-Rod's surgery, the Yankees steered clear of major injuries and I don't think it happened by accident. This team has learned how to properly handle its players and a lot of the credit must go to Girardi.

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