- Getting tossed around like a rag doll between the rotation, bullpen and minors all season.
- Not be allotted the chance to settle into a roll.
- Pre-set pitching/innings limit.
- Getting stretched multiple times as a starter.
No these notes are referring to how the Yankees have handled rookie Phelps first season in the Bigs, carelessly.
Phelps doesn’t know his role because the Yankees keep changing it accordingly, and it is reckless.
Once again, the Yankees continue to be thoughtless with the progress of their best pitching prospects.
Starter to reliever; bullpen to rotation is not a productive way to develop a young pitcher as it can screw him up not only physically, but mentally too.
This doesn’t seem to resonate with the Yankees and it is sad to see again.
Phelps is a kid with tons of talent, and as I stated back on May 3rd the Yankees should have groomed Phelps back then.
Phelps has a lot to work with and his potential upside is huge, as he features:
- Mixes up both 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.
Phelps already displays superb control on the mound. He is not afraid to challenge hitters by throwing inside and throwing for strikes as he just proved against the dominant Texas hitters.
But once again, Yankee fans only got a glimpse of Phelps’ starting potential for five innings/75 pitches, as he has already proven himself in relief but what everyone really wants to know is what the plan is here.
Now that the Yankees decide to start Phelps in place of an injured Sabathia they have no choice but to put an innings/pitching limit on him because he is not stretched out to start. And that is due to Phelps being shoved back to the bullpen again after he got stretched out to start down in the minors.
The Yankees do not have enough time to right the ship with Phelps this season because once CC and Pettitte get off the DL, Phelps will be moved either to the bullpen, or possibly the minors in favor of Derek Lowe.
The Yankees never gave much thought or care to give an answer but I believe they still have a window with Phelps because of how well he pitched vs. the Rangers just two days ago. And it is time to make things right.
So, if I were the Yankees I would send Phelps back to Triple-A for the rest of the 2012 season so he can start consistently with a plan to let him start the 2013 season in the rotation pending no setbacks etc. As I think this kid has the stuff to be a starter.
The Yankees need to go ahead with caution but do what is best for Phelps and not for themselves, which is sadly still unchartered territory.