NEW YORK -- Andy Pettitte threw a bullpen session prior to Friday's game against the Rays, fielded ground balls, covered first base and worked on his pickoff move from the Yankee Stadium mound, convincing a crowd of onlookers that included Joe Girardi that he can make his first start since June 27 on Tuesday against Toronto.
Girardi expects the 40-year-old to throw around 70 pitches in his return from a fractured left ankle, which allowed him to keep his arm strength but prevented him from working on his conditioning.
"I think he's been really pretty sharp considering the layoff that he's had," Girardi said. "In the simulated game, I was really pleased with how he threw the baseball. I expect that to carry over to Tuesday."
But Pettitte would not return this quickly if the Yankees did not have expanded rosters and a larger bullpen, according to general manager Brian Cashman. September callups allow Pettitte to return to a pennant race on a short pitch count, with the Yankees fully expecting the left-hander's contributions to help them pull away from the rest of the American League East.
"I'm not really curious as I am thankful that we have a chance to plug him back in," Cashman said. "When he's healthy, I know what he's capable of doing. Now it's about getting touch and feel and the rust knocked off. It looks like he'll have potentially four outings to do that. We have a bullpen ready to come in and a great offense."