Andy Pettitte to come off DL Monday

Updated: May 31, 2013, 2:56 PM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Andy Pettitte will return from the disabled list on Monday to start against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium.

"I'm feeling good and I'm looking forward to getting back out there and take my turn," Pettitte said. "I want to go through this grind with the guys, and that is what I came back for."

In the middle of May, Pettitte, 40, went on the DL with a strained trapezius muscle, which is located in the neck. In eight starts thus far, Pettitte is 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA. He missed a start earlier in the season with a strained back.

Pettitte has not made more than 21 starts in a season since 2009. He retired in 2011, but returned to the Yankees during spring training of 2012. Last season, a fractured fibula forced him to make just 12 starts in the regular season.

To try and avoid further injuries, Pettitte said he will cut his bullpen sessions between starts from two to one.

Counting Pettitte, the Yankees currently have 10 players on the disabled list. Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis both could return for Friday's series with the Boston Red Sox. Teixeira has not played all season because of a torn sheath in his right wrist. Youkilis has been out since the end of April with a sprained lumbar.

"You want to get your team back together," Pettitte said. "Youk was here early in the year, and Tex is a huge part of this club and he is going to be here for a long time."

With Pettitte coming back, the Yankees will have their full complement of starting pitchers. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that David Phelps will stay in the rotation, despite retiring only one Met during a loss on Wednesday.

Ivan Nova and Vidal Nuno, who was set to start Thursday night, were possible replacements for Phelps. Phelps' previous four starts before Wednesday were all good as he went at least six innings and allowed two or fewer runs in three of them.

As for Pettitte, the Yankees have tried to handle him as cautiously as possible. He feels as if the time on the DL did him some good.

"I do," Pettitte said. "I think, like I told y'all the night it happened, Doc never sent me for an MRI or anything. We felt like it was a muscle spasm. I think they were being pretty cautious with me, as far as the DL. It was probably good. I was pretty locked up back there."

If Pettitte wins Monday it will be the 250th victory of his career.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


EDITORS' PICKS

  • Watt Will You Do, Blue?
    Can the Giants contain J.J. Watt, the best defensive player in the league?
  • A 'Real Test'
    Masahiro Tanaka makes his MLB return on Sunday vs. the Jays.
  • Tainted Memory
    Derek Jeter moved into ninth place on baseball's all-time runs scored list.
  • Reversal Of Fortunes?
    Week 2 was a blast for the Bears and a gaffe-fest for Gang Green.
  • Is He Out?
    Dilson Herrera was removed from the game with a right quad strain.

ALSO SEE