It is no secret that the New York Yankees plethora of starting pitchinghas been whittled down to scrambling to fix holes left by the absence of Michael Pineda and the inefficiency of Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes.
And thanks to Hughes, Garcia, and after last nights 0-5 defeat at the hands of the Orioles, Ivan Nova, the Yankees starting rotation’s numbers, thus far, are alarming:
Reality is everything falls on the Yankees bats when any pitcher not named CC Sabathia is on the hill, and that is not only unfair but it won’t work. The Yankees can kiss October ta-ta if the pitching cannot pull its own weight.
Skipper Joe Girardi finally kicked Garcia to the bullpen, and he proved to be almost as useless in that role as last night. Garcia had to throw 31 pitches to get out of two innings.
Hughes should not be far behind, but until the Yankees stop daydreaming of 18-wins, fans will be forced to endure watching him implode every five-days.
And now Nova seems to have caught the 2012 Hughes syndrome, of performance being masked by run support.
Yikes….but wait all isn’t lost yet as there is still hope and his name is David Phelps.
Phelps will start in Garcia’s place tonight in Kansas City, in the first of four games the Yankees have vs. the Royals.
Phelps has been nothing short of impressive in long relief this season. He has thrown 17-innings and held opposing bats to a .200 batting average.
He has given up four homers and 14 earned runs, which is not great. But to be fair Phelps did not always enter games in ideal situations, and he is just transitioning from the minors so you can expect some bumps along the way.
Looking at the bigger picture, Phelps really only has to pitch respectably good to earn another start, with the possibility of becoming part of the Yankees rotation not far behind.
What…. Ok you are wondering how that is possible?
For three reasons:
- Girardi is not going to start Garcia anytime soon.
- Hughes stinks so out-pitching him can’t be that hard.
- Andy Pettitte is returning soon and someone has to push Hughes out of the rotation, time to find out whom.
Also, if groomed now, Phelps could be a solid 4th or 5th starter as he has an arsenal of pitches:
- Mixes a two- and a four-seam fastball; four-seamer can get up to 95 mph.
- A plus slider that breaks late.
- A mid-90’s curveball.
- A great sinker and change-up.
What I like about Phelps is his superb control, as he is not afraid to challenge hitters by throwing inside and throwing strikes.
My only big worry is if Phelps mechanics are off, he will get smacked around like he did back on April 25th against the Rangers. Texas hit two homers, drove in three runs and drew three walks in two innings off Phelps.
Look, if Phelps can give the Yankees six innings and keep the runs scored down to three or less that would be just perfect.
I think most Yankee fans would rather see Phelps develop than watch Hughes any longer. Personally, I am sick of Hughes getting praised for taking a baby step forward, and then getting excused for taking four adult steps back.
Phelps has a huge opportunity here, as he could be the back-end of the rotation starter that the Yankees desperately need now.
Lastly, I am concern that Girardi and GM Brain Cashman will not be patient at all with Phelps, meaning that if he doesn’t do what they want tonight, back to the bullpen he goes.
This is usually the time when the Yankees tend to panic, so brace yourself, as you might be reading that the Yankees signed Roy Oswalt or some other pitcher you thought had retired.
Hey….you can’t say you weren’t warned.
- New York Yankees: Finally good news but more bad too (ladylovespinstripes.com)