Yankees signal a major push for change with Andy Pettitte on board

Andy Pettitte is holding the 2009 WS trophy and as Yankees adviser on July 23, 2023.

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Former Core Four member Andy Pettitte has rejoined the Yankees as an adviser and this is likely to make a major shift in the Yankees strategy and philosophy. In an exclusive role, the five-time world champion starter has rejoined the Yankees as an advisor, a confirmation made by manager Aaron Boone following the team’s 8-5 victory against the Royals on Sunday.

After a successful 15-season career with the Yankees, which included three stints with the team, as well as a brief time with the Astros from 2003 to 2005, Andy Pettitte retired following the 2013 season. He then returned for a short period of time in 2011 before ultimately retiring for good.

The seasoned 51-year-old will play a crucial role as a sounding board for Boone, providing valuable input alongside pitching coach Matt Blake and other esteemed pitching coaches of the club. Notably, Andy Pettitte already served as a special advisor to general manager Brian Cashman back in 2019. As part of his new responsibilities, he was seen observing Aaron Judge’s live batting practice session on the field Sunday morning.

The Yankees' 1990 draft class includes Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera
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Andy Pettitte’s new role with the Yankees

The Yankees have made changes to their hitting coaches, and now they are enlisting the help of a familiar and experienced player, known for big-game performances, to assist with their pitching mindset during the playoff push.

According to Boone, the idea of having the five-time World Series champion, Andy Pettitte, back with the team has been considered in previous seasons. However, the Core Four member seems eager to be more involved with the team for the rest of the season, dedicating as much time as his schedule permits.

The Yankees manager expressed his desire to have Andy Pettitte back with the team, stating that he had been trying to make it happen for a while. He mentioned that he and Andy Pettitte stayed in regular communication during the season and the start was back into the fold.

“I never wanted Andy to leave,” Boone said. “I never wanted Andy to leave. I’ve been trying to make this happen for a long time. Andy and I talk frequently during the season. … I’m excited to have him back in the mix. As I tell him, you know, the more he can be here, the better.”

Boone mentioned that Andy Pettitte had been coaching back at home in Texas with his boys, and although it took longer than he would have preferred, he was thrilled to have the pitcher back in the mix. The Yankees skipper expressed his excitement and encouraged Andy Pettitte to spend as much time as possible with the team to benefit players.

The new adviser takes up the charge

On Sunday morning, as part of a large group of observers, Andy Pettitte, whose No. 46 jersey is retired in Monument Park, was present to watch rehabbing reliever Jonathan Loaisiga pitch to the injured captain, Aaron Judge, during a simulated game.

Boone expressed his admiration for Andy Pettitte, describing him as an invaluable sounding board and resource for both pitchers and position players. He emphasized Pettitte’s intelligence and humility, despite his esteemed status as a former player. Boone expressed excitement about having Pettitte on board and the positive impact he can bring to the team moving forward.

The Yankees’ recent addition of Andy Pettitte to Boone’s staff reflects a growing emphasis on experience within the organization, possibly indicating a shift away from heavy reliance on analytical expertise.

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Following a challenging first half marked by underperforming bats, the Yankees made a coaching change by parting ways with hitting coach Dillon Lawson, who had no MLB playing experience. In his place, they brought in Sean Casey, a former player with an impressive .302 career batting average over 12 seasons in the majors.

It seems that Andy Pettitte, with a record 19 postseason wins, the most in MLB history, will collaborate with pitching coach Matt Blake. However, Boone expressed uncertainty about the frequency of the 51-year-old iconic Yankee’s presence around the team.

There may be instances when Andy Pettitte pops in during road trips and spends time with the team at home. Boone expressed his willingness to accommodate the legend’s involvement and even jokingly mentioned saving a seat for him on the team plane whenever he decides to join.

As the Yankees’ record-breaking player, he holds the franchise’s all-time record for strikeouts, an impressive 2,020, and shares the distinction with Whitey Ford for the most starts made by a pitcher in pinstripes. Recently, he showcased his coaching prowess as the pitching coach for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, guiding the team to the final match, although they narrowly lost to Japan.

Andy Pettitte’s hiring marks another significant addition to the Yankees’ roster this month. Notably, the team made headlines by dismissing hitting coach Dillon Lawson and replacing him with the esteemed three-time All-Star, Sean Casey.

Currently, the Yankees are ranked eighth in Major League Baseball for team ERA, maintaining an impressive 3.71. This has been crucial in keeping the team afloat, particularly when the offense has struggled and is currently ranked 29th in the league.

At this point in the season, New York holds a 53-47 record and stands in fourth place in the AL East. With a gap of 8.5 games behind the division-leading Baltimore Orioles and 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the final wild-card spot, the team is eager to make strategic moves to improve their position and strengthen their performance.

When asked about Andy Pettitte’s expected role, Boone mentioned that it would involve impacting the players, just as he has done in the past. He highlighted Pettitte’s good relationships with the pitching staff, including pitching coach Matt and bullpen coach Mike Harkey. Andy Pettitte is known to communicate with different pitchers and position players throughout the season via phone. Boone’s main goal is to have him provide his valuable insights and guidance to the players, helping them improve their performance on the field.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “Yankees signal a major push for change with Andy Pettitte on board

  1. Love it! Pettitte brings much more to the team then all this analytic crap. The coaching and management staff in place failed to pick up on mechanical issues with hicks, Chapman, evoldai, sonny gray, heaney etc… The fire alarm should be blaring 24×7, when another teams staff quickly picks up on mechanical issues of a player that our staff couldn’t figure out, that’s a huge problem. Casey & Pettitte are a start but, there’s much more cleaning house needs to be done that have been hurting us for quite sometime now.

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