Wednesday in Trenton Pettitte's next step

Wednesday in Trenton Pettitte's next step

BOSTON -- Andy Pettitte's comeback trail to the big leagues will take him through Trenton, N.J., as the left-hander suits up to start on Wednesday for the Double-A Trenton Thunder.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced on Saturday that Pettitte is expected to throw 80-85 pitches in the Minor League start, which is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET against the Erie Seawolves.

"It's getting close to a reality now," Girardi said. "[If] you're up around 68 pitches, you're getting closer. Andy was a guy that was, for the most part, right around 100 for us anyway all the time."

Pettitte hit his last checkpoint on Friday, working to Pirates Minor Leaguers in an extended spring game in Tampa, Fla. Pettitte threw 58 of 66 pitches for strikes, permitting two earned runs on four hits. The 39-year-old walked none and struck out five.

Girardi suggested that Pettitte could be three turns away from rejoining the big league rotation. The left-hander hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since the 2010 American League Championship Series.

"I think that's realistic to look at -- three more Minor League starts, and then you make an evaluation of where he's at and what he needs," Girardi said.