New York Yankees: David Phelps to start New York Yankees: David Phelps to start New York Yankees: David Phelps to start

New York Yankees: David Phelps to start

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:

Yankees starters 2012 stats to date.

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.


  1. robert says:

    here we go again,screwing with established guy doing well in their position ,then the out come is not good,Re: joba and Huges. the yanks never learn . How about all the terrific guys in the minors or is that a smoke screen?

  2. Richard Griffith says:

    Couple of baseball housekeeping items:

    1. 31 pitches to get out of 2 innings will take you past the 6th which isn't too bad.

    2. No one, even Hughes is getting No run support lately.

    You got your wish regarding Phelps and I wish him well. Heck, I'd just like " Monstrous Year A-rod, April Tex, and Oh-no Cano to get going. Pathetic. Glad I have Netflix.

  3. Richard Griffith says:

    Does Phelps really have a mid-90's Curveball. Can't wait to see it tonight.

    I think you are his new BFF.

  4. Yankee Marc says:

    Positives it's good to see CC and Kuroda pitching better it's dissapointing to see Nova taking a step back and giving up so many hits. Hughes and Garcia are lost causes. Hughes with dimenishing speed shows an issue, they should have kept him in the bullpen. As far as solutions hopefully Pettite can offer part of it but I don't think he's been burning up the minors either so I wouldn't expect him to be his pre-retirement self right away. And don't get me started with the hitting, A-rod stinks, and Texiera has been disappointing since last year but I'm really surprised on how Cano is doing he looks lost. I hope for the Yankees sake that these guys turn it around and do what they get paid lots of money do, win. As a fan I'll try to keep a positive look as it's still early in the season.

    • Marc, I totally agree with you about Cano. It is making me sad to see him struggle like this. Tex will heat up….and A-rod has not been knocking it out of the park but he is getting on base still.

      As for Pettitte, he would NEVER embarrass himself by coming back if he couldn't be effective. These starts are easy to base stuff on but they don't mean much. When Pettitte returns to the hill in a Major-League game, we won't know. The situation is so much different and Pettitte is so experienced that I trust his judgement. Heck…it is better than the alternative.

  5. Yankee Marc says:

    I like what Phelps as done out of the pen for the most part so lets hope he can deliver. I'm confident he'll do better than Garcia but that's not much as he was awful.

    • LLP says:

      Garcia has not been bad out of the bullpen, which is good. You are totally right Marc about Phelps as a reliever and with D-Rob now on the DL, Phelps needs to stay there.

  6. Yes but Richard 31 pitches against the Orioles is a lot different than against other teams, and the O's bats tend to fade out when they have a lead in the bottom innings. Not yet this season, but over the last few.

  7. Tanned Tom says:

    Garcia is definitely a lost cause in NY, is there any hope some team might take a chance on him?
    Hughes bites. "his best stuff" is 4 ERs in 5.2 innings, bleck! Trade! no reason to keep him for the pen, trade!
    Nova will be okay. He does not have great stuff, but he has mental toughness. When he struggles he still keeps his team in the game. Being sent out for the 7th the other day was Girardi's mistake. His line should have read 6 innings, 2 ERs.
    Phelps and Mitchell should both be given a look as starters, one of them will have to take the 5th spot, and both could be in the rotation for 2013. Start the new staff look now. 2013 should be Sabathia, Nova, Pineda, Phelps, Mitchell. Unless Pettitte pulls a Mariano and pitches well for another couple of years.

  8. ken says:

    last night i watched phelps pitch, not bad. i was sure nunez had made another costly error when i came back from a rest stop. it was a couple of innings before i found out it was a phelps throwing error to first. however thats not the point, hasn't anyone yet noticed that nunez's errors have led to atleast four yankee losses, two for hughes alone. every time i see nunez take the field its not will he make an error but rather how bad will it be. is yankee management sure he's not being paid by other teams to make those errors? just a thought. as far as the yankee bats go, guys jeter can't keep carrying you, but no worries, you have a new excuse for not hitting! it's not our fault mo's out for the year. guys earn your money. tex hit atleast one ball to left every third at bat and your average will skyrocket and teams will have to play you strait up again.

    • LLP says:

      Ken….bottom line is the Yankees need to hit and lean on their bats to win games. I don't know what is going on here….but something is not right!!!