On the same day that they placed ace CC Sabathia on the disabled list, the Yankees have lost another starter to injury. This time, it's Andy Pettitte, who will miss at least the next six weeks after fracturing his left fibula. The injury will not require surgery.
In the fifth inning of Wednesday's matinee against the Indians, Pettitte took a Casey Kotchman liner off his lower left leg (his drive leg, it should be noted) and collapsed in a heap after trying to field the ball.
After making a few throws with the Yankee medical staff looking on and then making one final awkward pitch, Pettitte was lifted in favor of reliever Cody Eppley.
"I've been hit in the shin, in that area, so many times and I've never had to come out of a game," Pettitte said (via Associated Press). "As soon as I threw that first pitch, I had an awful lot of pain, all the way down to my foot."
This season, the 40-year-old Pettitte has a 3.03 ERA after nine starts. Needless to say, his loss is a critical blow to an already thin rotation.
"No one's going to feel sorry for us," manager Joe Girardi said (AP). "Guys have to step up."
Adam Warren will be called up from Triple-A on Thursday to make the Friday start that Sabathia was scheduled for. Freddy Garcia will then pitch Monday in Pettitte's spot, and the Yankees are getting David Phelps to pitch deeper into games in the minors with an eye toward bringing him back to the big club as a starter. General manager Brian Cashman has indicated he doesn't want to make a trade.
"Phelps is a guy, who, if he were stretched out, would be our prime candidate," Cashman said (AP). "We'll just have to figure it out. I would prefer not to go outside."