Baseball pundits and Yankees fans were concerned about the pitching staff entering the 2012 season. They couldn’t have anticipated a series of random injuries and circumstances would devastate the rotation and remove The Closer from the equation.

CC Sabathia was placed on the disabled list because of a groin injury that he sustained during the fourth inning of Sunday’s start against the Mets. The team is optimistic that he will return from the disabled list shortly following the All-Star break. Freddy Garcia will take his turn in the rotation on Friday.

The news regarding comeback kid Andy Pettitte isn’t nearly as optimistic. Pettitte followed Sabathia to the disabled list in short order after sustaining a fractured left ankle during his Wednesday start. He returned from retirement to post a strong 3.29 ERA entering Wednesday’s start and had struck out one batter per inning pitched. Pettitte is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

The next several weeks will be interesting to watch as teams are identified as buyers and sellers ahead of the trade deadline. Obviously, we’ll hear the names of Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Zack Greinke at the top of the wish lists. They’ll be joined by countless others as the rumor mills start to churn. I can’t wait.