The last time Andy Pettitte was a member of the Yankees the starting rotation helped get the team to the 2003 World Series. No hitting, David Wells' bad back, and Jeff Weaver being Jeff Weaver made for a relatively long winter. The Yankees were also duped in that series into thinking Carl Pavano could handle the pressure of being in New York. Injuries to his sphincter, groin, ribs, and a general "moronicness" have proven otherwise.
"Who are these guys?"
The unthinkable of course happened in '04 when those a-holes (idiots is too tame) from the north ended the Curse of the Bambino. So in '05 the Yankees went out and got themselves a 6'10" ogre with a bad attitude and an even worse back. Thankfully that situation has been remedied. There was the ill advised handling of Jon Lieber and the even more ill advised signing of Jaret Wright to replace him. Again, that situation has been resolved.
"Yo Geno, I think I sprained my hair!"
So now as we head towards Spring Training, '07, the Yankees season rotation is pretty much set, but will it look this way come October? For now, the season revolves around the first 3 starters, Chieng-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, and Mike Mussina. List them in any order you want. Unknown Kei Igawa is the #4 or #5...why is he either? Look up the word "unknown". So that leaves the final spot in the rotation to one or two or three of a list that includes the weak link Pavano, Darrell Rasner, Jeffrey Karstens, Tyler Clippard, and...Roger Clemens? Phillip Hughes? The latter two remains to be seen. There is no question that Clemens could be back in pinstripes by Summer. Less likely, but still possible, is Hughes makng his big league debut this season.
No matter how you slice it you have to be concerned about this rotation. You won't find a bigger Chien-Ming Wang fan, outside of his native Taiwan, other than me, but even I have concerns about his durability and, to a lesser degree, his ability to win another 15-20 this season.
It's awesome having Andy Pettitte back, but how healthy is he. He was nearly untouchable after the break last year, but completely hittable beforehand. Moose seems to find more and more ways to lose games. He started the season looking like he would win 30, but injuries and his usual stubborn streak in attacking hitters kept him well short of even getting 20.
Clemens is clearly the wild card in this whole mix. He's spouting his usual bullshit about not knowing yet whether or not he will pitch this season. I frankly don't give a shit. Pitch or don't pitch, but SHADDAP. Mark my words Clemens will pitch, whether it be here, Houston, or Boston. Raj, you go back to Boston...don't expect a nice welcome when you come in The Stadium.
The most likely scenario is Brian Cashman working the phones by the break, shopping the prospects they acquired for the Big Fugly and Sheffield, as well as others that were already in the system to find another starter. Just shop wisely Cash, shop wisely.