However, most glaring was Price's belief that Andy Pettitte would start the regular season on the disabled list:
In my scenario (strictly a guess), Pettitte stays on the DL and gets a minor-league start next week to build up arm strength. Igawa takes one turn and then goes to the minors when Pettitte comes off the DL.The Yankees faithful would collectively **** a brick if the first week of the 2008 season saw Kei Igawa pitching in place of the reliable Pettitte. Last year saw Carl Pavano replace Chien-Ming Wang as the opening day starter. I think the Yankees are done with the impromptu pitching substitutions.
Chad Jennings of the SWB Yankees Blog agrees with Price and offers an interesting explanation of how Pettitte starting on the DL could help the Yankees:
It seems possible that Andy Pettitte could start the season on the disabled list. He would be eligible to return by next Saturday, meaning the Yankees wouldn't need a spot starter and wouldn't have to disrupt the rotation.
Wouldn't it make sense, then, to start Pettitte on the DL and keep Rasner, Traber, Bruney (or Ohlendorf) and Patterson in the big league bullpen? That way the team gets an extra arm for the first few games and gets to reward Patterson for his amazing spring. As a bonus, the Yankees get to see Patterson in an actual big league scenario. Seems like a win-win to me, but a case could also be made for keeping Ohlendorf over Patterson or for keeping Nick Green -- to help get through the suspension games -- or for simply keeping Pettitte active through that first week.
The theory makes sense, but I'm sure Yankee fans would much rather throw a healthy Pettitte on the mound and end the prognosticating there.