After a year and a half break, Andy Pettitte is ready to take a major league mound again.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday afternoon that the lefty will start on Sunday for New York. Pettitte has made four minor league starts this year, pitching to a 3.71 ERA in 17 innings.
Pettitte made headlines in spring training when he announced that he wanted to return to the Yankees. He retired after pitching for New York in 2010.
With Pettitte's return to the Yankees rotation, someone will have to be moved to the bullpen. It's possible that the team could go with a six-man rotation, but manager Joe Girardi said last month that wasn't something the Yankees wanted to do. New York went to a six-man rotation for a short time in 2011.
Whose spot will the veteran take? Two of the Yankees five starters will have to worry about being moved to the bullpen.
C.C. Sabathia isn't going anywhere. He's the team's number one starter, and agreed to a five-year extension worth $122 million in the offseason. Hiroki Kuroda has the best ERA of any Yankee starter, and Ivan Nova went 16-4 a year ago.
That just leaves Phil Hughes and David Phelps.
David Phelps seems like the most likely candidate. He started the season in the bullpen, and only entered the rotation when Freddy Garcia lost his starting spot because of ineffectiveness.
However, Phelps has been much more effective than Hughes this season. Hughes has a 6.67 ERA as compared to Phelps' 3.74, and has only one quality start on the year.
Hughes' struggles are not an anomaly. He had a 5.79 ERA last season, starting in 14 of his 17 appearances. Hughes has also proved to be very effective in the bullpen, helping the Yankees win the 2009 World Series as a setup man.
The Yankees have a few days to make their final decision. Pettitte is scheduled to face the Mariners on Sunday at Yankee Stadium