Monday, January 26, 2009

The Astros really dodged a bullet on that Andy Pettitte fella...

So in the end, all it took was $5.5 million (plus an additional $6.5 million in incentives) to sign Andy Pettitte. That's $4 million - in total - less than Honest Andy wanted guaranteed. And $4.5 million guaranteed less than what the Yankees had on the table.

Those Hendricks brothers really screwed up on this one. However, maybe the Astros dodged a bullet (that will ricochet and hit Mike Hampton in the oblique, no doubt, but only after nicking Brandon Backe and Wandy Rodriguez on the pitching hand) by not pulling the trigger on Honest Andy.

In 2008, Andy dealt with injuries and posting higher-than-career-average numbers in hits, runs, earned runs, home runs, ERA and WHIP. And throwing fewer innings, too.

His last 11 starts are well-documented: 2-7 with a 6.23 ERA, and missing his last start. But let's look at August and September. Six starts in August - three at home, three on the road. He allowed two earned runs or less twice in those last two months - once August 20 @ Toronto (1 ER in 7 innings) and September 21 vs. Baltimore (2 ER in 5 innings).

Andy is most effective when he gets more ground balls than fly balls: when he did this - or at least had a 1:1 ratio, the Yankees were 12-5 (as opposed to 3-12 when he had more fly balls than ground balls), and the Yankees were 2-8 in his last 10 starts. Andy didn't pitch into the 8th inning past July 20, either.

Maybe you'd rather have Andy than Mike Hampton - but not at double, almost triple, the price. This is a pitcher held together with chicken wire, and after throwing 3200+ pitches last year - it don't look good for Honest Andy. That doesn't mean it looks great for Houston, but I'll take Mike Hampton at this point...

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