ATLANTA -- Yankees veteran pitcher Andy Pettitte threw a bullpen session on Wednesday, hours before the finale of a three-game Interleague series against the Braves at Turner Field, and he said there were no lingering effects from his bruised left hand.Though there was still some discoloration, Pettitte said he's a go for his next start, on Saturday against the Nationals against right-hander Jordan Zimmermann at Nationals Park. "It feels fine -- there were no problems out there today," Pettitte said. "I'm good to go. I've never pitched in that ballpark, and I'm looking forward to it." During the sixth inning of Sunday's 5-4 victory over the Mets at Yankee Stadium, Pettitte instinctively reacted to Scott Hairston's grounder up the middle by stabbing at it with his throwing hand. He fielded the ball cleanly and threw to first base for an out. Pettitte finished the inning, but then came out of the game. He underwent X-rays, which were negative, and left the ballpark with his hand wrapped in a bandage. The swelling and bandage are long gone. Pettitte is on track to make his seventh start since returning from a hiatus that lasted more than a year with a loss to the Mariners on May 13. Pettitte has won three of his last five starts and has uncharacteristically struck out 40 batters in 41 2/3 innings. For his career, Pettitte has about two strikeouts for every three innings pitched. "People ask me about all the strikeouts, and I can't explain it," said Pettitte, who whiffed a season-high 10 Rays on June 5 and another eight Mets on Sunday. "I feel like I'm throwing the ball well, and it feels good coming out of my hand. I'm just going to roll with it." Pettitte said he had a telephone conversation on Tuesday night with another veteran pitcher who is working his way toward a return to the Majors: close friend Roy Oswalt. Oswalt was teammates with Pettitte on the Astros from 2004-06, and both pitched for the '05 team that was swept by the White Sox in the World Series. Oswalt, recovering from a back injury, signed on May 29 with the Rangers and is close to joining the club, which has recently suffered injuries to starting pitchers Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando. Because of his own injuries and personal issues, Oswalt had an abbreviated 2011 season with the Phillies. "He sounded good and says he's healthy," Pettitte said of Oswalt. "I really believe he'll do very well. He's ready to go."
Robertson poised for return on Friday
ATLANTA -- Yankees reliever David Robertson was back with the ballclub on Wednesday, and as expected, he's likely to be activated from the disabled list in time for Friday night's series opener against the Nationals in Washington, D.C."If everything is OK, and unless he takes a box or something down the stairs, we should be all right," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. Robertson made his second relief outing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Louisville on Tuesday in Rochester, N.Y., and threw an inning without incident, tossing 14 pitches. And he's ready to go. "I feel really good; I'm glad to be back here," Robertson said. "I'm not on the roster today, but if everything goes well and I don't have any problems during the next day or two, I should be right back on the roster in Washington." Robertson has been on the disabled list since May 15 with a left oblique strain. He had already pitched one clean inning -- on Sunday against Louisville -- throwing 11 pitches (eight strikes). Robertson made a couple of appearances as the Yankees' closer after Mariano Rivera went down for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. After Robertson sustained the injury, the closer role was assumed by Rafael Soriano, who has 10 saves in 11 opportunities. Despite a blister on his right index finger, Soriano saved the Yanks' 6-4 come-from-behind win over the Braves with a perfect ninth inning on Tuesday night. Robertson recorded one save and blew another opportunity during his short stint as Rivera's replacement. Overall, he has allowed four earned runs and whiffed 24 batters in 14 1/3 innings. Robertson said it makes no difference to him if he comes back as the closer or in his customary eighth-inning role. "I'm not going to talk about that," Robertson said. "I'm just here to pitch. I don't really care what I do." Last week, Girardi said Robertson is most likely to set up Soriano when he returns.
"We're probably going to put Robbie in some situations in the eighth inning when he comes back, and then we'll just go from there," Girardi said on June 5. "Soriano has done a very good job -- whatever we've asked him to do. We feel that they're interchangeable.
"Sori has the experience down there. Let's just get Robby back and see how he's throwing the baseball, but I expect that we'll try to insert him into the eighth inning to start out."
Girardi said the Yankees probably won't make a roster move until Friday, but he said it's going to be a tough decision, considering the performance of the bullpen in the absence of the injured Robertson and Rivera, who's unlikely to return until next season after undergoing surgery to repair his ACL on Tuesday."I'll talk to [general manager Brian Cashman] about it," Girardi said.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.