Pettitte to be skipped due to elbow tightness
Andy Pettitte - S - HOU - May. 21 - 9:08 pm et
Andy Pettitte will be skipped in the rotation next time through because of continued tightness in his left elbow.
Pettitte hasn't been completely right since returning from offseason surgery, although he was still quite effective until his last start. There's not supposed to be anything structurally wrong with his elbow now, but the Astros won't be afraid to put him on the DL if necessary. A replacement for Monday has yet to be announced. May. 21 - 9:08 pm et
Pettitte to miss start, rest forearm
Loser of 3 in row will sit Monday to deal with tightness
By JOSE DE JESUS ORTIZ
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
ARLINGTON - Still unable to throw cutters without his left forearm locking up on him, Astros lefthander Andy Pettitte will not take his next scheduled turn in the rotation.
Pettitte was scheduled to make his 10th start of the season Monday against the Cubs, but will miss a start for the first time since having season-ending surgery on his left elbow last August.
Astros general manager Tim Purpura and manager Phil Garner will make a roster move this afternoon to call up a starter from Class AAA Round Rock. Most likely, a pitcher will be sent down or designated for assignment today to make room on the roster for another starter.
Lefthander Wandy Rodriguez, who gave up only two runs with nine strikeouts over six innings Thursday, might get the promotion and start on short rest.
"I have some tightness right here," Pettitte, 32, said, pointing to the portion of his left forearm nearest the elbow. "I took it easy last game and just tried to not force the issue much. I threw my bullpen (Friday) and tried to see where I was at and tried to crank out some cutters and stuff like that.
"When I did, it kind of started tightening up on me again. I just think it would probably be best to give it a start (off)."
Pettitte, who has lost three consecutive starts to fall to 2-5 with a 4.11 ERA, has thrown 57 innings over nine starts this season. He has given up 11 runs (nine earned) over 11 innings in his last two starts.
He gave up a season-high 11 hits and seven runs while lasting a season-low five innings Wednesday in a 7-6 loss at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"I took it easy last game, and it's not where I wanted it to be," Pettitte said.
Pettitte was on the disabled list three times last year with elbow problems, and he is admittedly concerned.
"Any time anything now goes on it's going to alarm me no matter what," Pettitte said. "But I mean to tell you, last year I was hurt and I couldn't do anything. I feel totally fine right now. I did my long, long toss yesterday and stuff like that. It's just, and people probably can't understand me, but when I try to get the ball to come off my fingertips, this (forearm) locks up on me for some reason."
Garner and Purpura also found solace in the fact that Pettitte did most of his bullpen session Friday and his long-toss session Saturday.
"It's not pain," Garner said. "It's just tightness. It's better to address it now than try to get him through this one. We could have skipped him the next go-around, but I think it's better to skip this one and hopefully it will feel real good for him and have no more problems."
Rodriguez is 4-2 with a 3.69 ERA with the Express. Travis Driskill, 5-0 with a 2.30 ERA and two saves in 16 relief outings, is another option to come up. Relievers Dave Burba and Tom Martin also were mentioned as candidates.
"Are we concerned? Yes," Purpura said. "But I think it's part of the process of (Pettitte's) recovery. He's gone through a few hurdles along the way, and I thought this is just another one."