Preparing for debut, Pettitte sticks to routine

Preparing for debut, Pettitte sticks to routine

NEW YORK -- Andy Pettitte can't work out with the Yankees until he is officially added to the roster in anticipation of his season debut on Sunday against the Mariners, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been popping up in the Bronx.

Pettitte spoke to reporters from his Westchester, N.Y., home on Thursday and said that he has commuted to Yankee Stadium this week to throw morning bullpen sessions in front of pitching coach Larry Rothschild, getting set for his starting assignment as normally as possible.

"It's been great -- I've been able to come into the stadium," Pettitte said. "I've thrown a couple of bullpens, getting here around 11:30 [a.m.] and just do my work. ... My preparation for this game has been exactly like it normally would have been."

Pettitte has also been exercising with strength coach Dana Cavalea in White Plains, N.Y., but he can't wait to slip the pinstripes back on and officially complete his return to the big leagues. Pettitte expects to pick up right where he left off in 2010.

"Knowing how I feel in my bullpens and stuff like that now, I just really believe I'm going to be able to get back to where I was," Pettitte said. "I'm going to be very disappointed if I don't, so I'm definitely expecting that out of myself."

Pettitte said that he feels like his strength has been built up after his six Minor League starts and that he is confident he will be able to get big league hitters out. He has been keeping up with the Yankees closely since coming out of retirement on March 16; Pettitte said his Tampa, Fla., hotel room was wired to receive the YES Network on television.

"I have not missed any games, unless I was pitching on a rehab assignment," Pettitte said. "I followed it extremely closely. Obviously for me, I wanted to see the guys in the rotation throw and just continue to be able to talk with them and stay in contact with them."

Pettitte said that his wife and family are flying to New York for the Mother's Day start, with the exception of Pettitte's son Josh, whose high school baseball team is in the playoffs back home in Texas.

"No matter how many games you pitch -- World Series games or playoff games -- [there is] just a little bit of anxiety about getting out there and just starting to do this again," Pettitte said. "There's definitely a little bit of that, but I'm really excited to do it again."