Andy Pettitte signed a contract with the New York Yankees. Remember that? It happened last week, and it was kind of a big deal. Maybe you were off the grid. In that case, Andy Pettitte signed a contract with the New York Yankees. It happened last week.
Obviously, by waiting this long, Pettitte's going to be behind everybody else. He's not just going to end up in the Yankees' rotation from the get-go. About how far away is Andy Pettitte from being in regular-season shape? Let's ask Andy Pettitte:
Pettitte said he feels like he needs 6 weeks to be ready. That takes you to first week in May.— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) March 20, 2012
On the one hand, six weeks is pretty specific. On the other hand, Pettitte has been a professional baseball player for so long that he probably has a good idea of how he'll progress. Six weeks, and let's give or take a week, to be safe.
Unless something goes wrong, the Yankees can count on having Andy Pettitte available as a starter by the beginning or middle of May. That gives them time to figure out how to make space. Making space won't be the easiest thing Brian Cashman's ever done, but there are worse problems. Boy are there ever worse problems than trying to find room for Andy Pettitte in your starting rotation.