Girardi confirms Pettitte set to start Sunday
Veteran left-hander ready pending Thursday's side session
ST. PETERSBURG -- Andy Pettitte is set to rejoin the Yankees' rotation on Sunday with a start against the Orioles in Baltimore, manager Joe Girardi has confirmed.
Pettitte -- who has not pitched in a big league game since July 18 with a strained left groin -- hurled five innings in a rehab start Tuesday for Double-A Trenton at Altoona, allowing two runs and six hits over 67 pitches.
The veteran left-hander will throw a side session Thursday, the final stumbling block to his return, but that is expected to be a formality. Girardi said that Pettitte would be ready to throw about 90 pitches against the Orioles.
"I want to see how he feels tomorrow after his side [session]," Girardi said. "Right now, all indications are that he feels good. That's really important; it'd be frustrating if he didn't, for him and all of us."
With Pettitte's return, Girardi said that A.J. Burnett will pitch Friday and CC Sabathia will go Saturday at Camden Yards. Javier Vazquez will be bumped to the bullpen for the third time this season, unless he is needed as an emergency starter should Pettitte not be able to go.
Golson's game-winning throw an eye-opener
ST. PETERSBURG -- As Greg Golson's strong, accurate throw was replayed repeatedly in the news cycle, cutting down Carl Crawford again and again, the Yankees rookie had to set his phone to vibrate just to catch a few winks of sleep.
Everyone, it seemed, wanted to hit Golson with a call or text message to let the outfielder know they'd seen his game-ending rocket on Tuesday, in which he fired a ball to third base on one hop to end the Yankees' 8-7, 10-inning victory over the Rays.
"It's not one of those things you expect is going to happen," Golson said. "With one of the fastest guys in the league, it's one of those things where I was just trying to put a good throw on the ball."
With just 21 games of big league experience under his belt, Golson is hardly a household name, but those who watched the speedy, athletic player at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre couldn't have been stunned by the throw.
"I've seen him throw a bunch," said Yankees rookie Colin Curtis. "Everyone down there knows he's got a great arm, so it didn't surprise me at all. I wish I could throw that hard."
Alex Rodriguez, who caught the one-hop throw and applied the tag to Crawford, said that he was especially impressed by the fact that Golson caught the ball flat-footed.
"I honestly thought he had no chance, just because he caught it with his momentum pointing back to right field. It was straight as an arrow," Rodriguez said.
Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson may have had the best view, ranging over and alerting Golson that Crawford was tagging. He was wowed as well.
"It was probably one of the best throws, in terms of velocity and carry and distance, in Major League Baseball," Granderson said. "He's got a great arm, and now everybody gets to see it."
Ring ready to take advantage of chance
ST. PETERSBURG -- When the conclusion of the season arrived for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Royce Ring did not receive a callup, the lefty flew home to San Diego, looking forward to holding his daughter and getting ready for the offseason.
Not so fast. Ring's cell phone buzzed Tuesday while he was bringing 6-month-old Kaylyn for a doctor's visit, with general manager Brian Cashman asking the reliever if he'd be interested in joining the Yankees' bullpen for the rest of September.
"It's an awesome opportunity for me," said Ring, who flew to Florida early Wednesday. "Hopefully I can make the best of it and help them out. Obviously they're making a push for the playoffs, and if I can help them out in any way, that's what I'm going to do."
Ring, 29, was 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA and two saves in 52 appearances for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this year. He allowed 35 hits in 42 innings, striking out 39 and walking 11.
A non-roster invitee to Spring Training who competed to make the Opening Day roster this year, Ring said he monitored the Yankees' bullpen situation, and with Boone Logan throwing well, Ring wasn't necessarily expecting a callup.
"I know Boone's been throwing really well up here, so they have a lefty," Ring said. "A lot of teams don't even have a lefty in the bullpen sometimes, and there's very few teams that have two. I wasn't surprised. I was just happy that I gave myself an opportunity for next year."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.