Pettitte, of course, has had a more illustrious career given his postseason and championship resume, but there stands to be plenty of debate as to which hurler will have a bigger impact upon returning.
Matsuzaka is battling his way back from Tommy John surgery after injuries limited him to eight games last season, 25 starts the year before and 12 starts in 2009. By all accounts, however, the 31-year-old Japanese product has progressed nicely, and he therefore could be a pleasant surprise if he's able to give the Red Sox some meaningful innings this season.
In his eight games in 2011, seven of which were starts, Matsuzaka went 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA. And while his limited action certainly included both ups and downs, he did show an ability to get batters out by tossing back-to-back scoreless, one-hit performances in April of last year.
Pettitte, meanwhile, was believed to have been retired, but he's gotten the itch to return after sitting out all of last season.
Pettitte last pitched in 2010, going 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 21 starts. The lefty will turn 40 next month, but the Yankees rotation could certainly use a veteran stabilizing force.
Matsuzaka will start at Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday as he attempts his comeback, while Pettitte will pitch at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday.
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