The 24-year-old prospect is a right-handed pitcher who could provide some depth in the middle innings, which will be necessary with the Yankees depleted bullpen.
Now with Star-Ledger’s Mark Craig reporting that Colon played long toss from a distance of 120 feet, the chances of Phelps, or any other prospect getting promoted prior to the All-Star break is unlikely. This applies even if Gordon stinks because it looks as if Colon will return soon enough, so no need to create havoc.
Down the stretch, Phelps could be a big help. He features four pitches, a two-seamer that clocks around the low 90’s, a change-up, a curve ball, and a slider. In November of 2010, Baseball America named Phelps as having the Best Slider of all Yankees minor-leaguers.
Phelps is a contact pitcher, so expect a lot of ground balls. With his deceptive delivery, Phelps keeps batters on their toes and he is comfortable throwing all his pitches at anytime. Phelps is a workhorse with no injury history, as he has yet to miss a start in the minors except when Cashman forced him to sit.
Phelps has grown with each step taken in the minors, as he is confident and throws strikes. When he gets ahead in the count hitters have a .137 average and this season is posting a 4-6 record, with a 3.38 ERA, 74 strikeouts and 85.1 innings pitcher, in the 14 starts he has made for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
Even though the Yankees lack an effective lefty arm for the bullpen, having a solid long-man to come in and help when a starter has a bad outing is vital.
It is no secret that the Yankees bullpen needs assistance and Damaso Marte and Pedro Feliciano are well away from returning, if at all. Then there is the $35 million dollar Rafael Soriano who is moving along and feeling good but his attitude seem to need rehabbing more than his elbow, and the last thing a team needs is a virus in the clubhouse.
Skipper Joe Girardi and Cashman say they have confidence in Phelps, but actions speak louder than words…as why the desperate move for Gordon?
Phelps is durable and mature; the perfect candidate to be part of a trade package. Cashman would rather hand over Phelps instead of one of the Killer B’s (Betances, Banuelos & Brackman), and bringing him up to start in the Bigs puts his worth at risk.
So, don’t be surprised to see Phelps in the Bronx in 2011 but don’t hold your breath because we won’t know until after the trade deadline.
- Sweeny: Why Did The Yankees Start Brian Gordon? (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Yanks ready to give ball to Gordon (nypost.com)
- ESPN’s Schoenfield Says David Phelps Could Get Call To Replace Colon (slidingintohome.blogspot.com)
- New York Yankees: Super Nova Not Letting Phil Hughes Steal His Spot (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- MLB Trade Rumors: Adios Boone Logan Hello Hughes, K-Rod Or Lil Manny (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees: Injury Updates Are Just Alright (ladylovespinstripes.com)