Andy Pettitte reports to Yanks camp

Updated: March 21, 2012, 12:34 AM ET
By Kieran Darcy | ESPNNewYork.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Andy Pettitte officially reported to Yankees camp on Tuesday, threw his first bullpen session, and said afterward, "I feel like I never left."

"I am a little surprised that I felt as good as I did today, to tell you the truth," added Pettitte, who stunned Major League Baseball by ending his one-year retirement and re-signing with the New York Yankees on Friday. "So we'll just have to see where it goes -- hopefully it will continue to be that good."

After undergoing a physical exam Tuesday morning, Pettitte threw approximately 50 pitches, under the watch of pitching coach Larry Rothschild, among others.

"That's as good of a bullpen as I've caught all spring," said Yankees catcher Russell Martin, who caught most of the session. "He threw all his pitches, and just kept executing pitch after pitch after pitch."

Pettitte also threw a secret bullpen session for the Yankees in Tampa last Tuesday, and another back home in Texas on Friday.

"I really feel like I'm progressing," Pettitte said. "My location was a lot better today than it has been in any of the 'pens I've thrown. I really felt good about it."

"He was just hitting the spots about 90-plus percent of the time," Martin said.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi did not watch Pettitte throw on Tuesday, but said he views this as Day 1 of spring training when it comes to the 39-year-old left-hander.

"I think you have to do that," Girardi said. "Even though you've been throwing at home, it's just different when you're out here going through all the drills and you're in your cleats, and fatigue comes a little bit different."

Despite how good he felt on Tuesday, it's a given Pettitte will need more time in Florida when the Yankees break camp in two and a half weeks to start the regular season.

"I would imagine I probably would need six weeks," Pettitte said. "I know we're kinda looking at May 1. But again, (I'm) just not gonna set any date, cause I don't know what's gonna happen.

"I'll talk to Larry to see when he thinks (batting practice) is realistic," Girardi said. "All of our guys threw a few bullpens and then threw a couple BP's, and then after the BP's they were in the games. So we'll have to decide how many bullpens we feel he needs before he throws a BP."

"I don't think it's unrealistic really to say that we (will) see him in a game before we leave," Girardi added. "But I don't think it's realistic you're gonna see him throw five innings in one start."

Regardless of when he makes his major league return, Pettitte sounded very happy to be back with the team -- and he admitted the Yankees were the only team he would have returned to play for, despite only being given a one-year, $2.5 million deal.

"Me and my wife talked about it, and there was no considering going anywhere else," Pettitte said. "Obviously, I think I could have probably considered other places and got a lot more money, but this is where my heart was, man. I had no desire to go anywhere else."

Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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