Warren OK with backing up Pettitte tonight
TRENTON — Adam Warren, arguably the team’s most reliable starter since the day he showed up, will not start in the Eastern League Division Series. There’s a good reason for that, though, one that has 240 major league wins to his credit.
Warren will relieve Andy Pettitte in today’s Game 2, and for the Thunder hurler, that’s no skin off his back. In fact, the –year-old right-hander considers it a bit of an honor to play caddy for a day for someone with Pettitte’s credentials.
“Obviously, I’d like to start,” Warren admitted,” but when a guy like Andy Pettitte comes, you can’t really be mad, because of the pitcher he is.”
The plan is for Pettitte to go four innings or 65 pitches, whichever comes first. After that, Warren will come in and, barring ineffectiveness, more than likely go the rest of the game, with the exception of maybe a reliever for a few outs if Pettitte leaves in the middle of an inning.
One of the big concerns for Warren today is how he will keep his pre-start routine intact, given that he won’t get into the game until probably the fifth inning. That means pushing back the normal stretching, throwing and all of the other calisthenics that come before a normal start.
“It’s going to be a new process for me, but I’m going to try to keep everything the same, though,” Warren said. “Maybe in the first inning I’ll go ahead and start stretching, that sort of thing, try to work in some sort of long toss before the game, or with the outfielders, something like that. I’ll make a few adjustments, but I don’t think it’s going to affect me negatively.”
The choice for Warren to be the one pushed back really didn’t entail much of a choice at all. Both pitchers were scheduled to go today, so the minor leaguer was forced to play second fiddle.
“I think the priority is to get the major league pitchers back to pitching,” manager Tony Franklin said. “We happen to be home, and he’s got a place to pitch, so that’s the way it is. And I think it’s a good thing. Adam’s going to be in there right after him, so I think Adam’s going to prepare to pitch the way he normally does.”
If there were any fears that Pettitte would come down, throw a few pitches and just work on getting his feel back without any regard to the situation his new teammates have fought so hard to achieve, those feelings were quickly allayed during today’s Yankees game.
The broadcasters mentioned that Pettitte not only knew the magnitude of the situation he was thrust into, but he had gone so far as to request scouting reports on the Fisher Cats to ensure that he did the best job possible once his time came.
“I heard the announcers talking about Andy coming down, and what he said,” Franklin explained. “Andy’s coming down with every intention of helping us win a baseball game, and that’s the way it should be.”