David Phelps won’t nudge other Yankees starters

The Yankees liked David Phelps’ quality start this afternoon against the Red Sox, in which the rookie allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings, but he appears ticketed to head back to the bullpen. CC Sabathia vowed that he will be ready to return on Friday, and if so, the big man will be on the mound at Progressive Field against the Indians.

That is no slight against Phelps, who has proven himself as a very useful part of the 2012 Yankees roster.

“We like what he does. He’s a guy that is somewhat of a swing guy for us,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “If we need him to start, he can start. If we need him to give us an inning in the bullpen, a couple innings in the bullpen, long relief, he can do that. He’s a valuable guy on your team because he can do so many different things, and he’s had success in all areas this year.”

Girardi quickly doused any speculation that Phelps would knock any other Yankees pitcher from the rotation, dismissing the question with a chuckle.

“No. Our guys are going to make their starts,” Girardi said. “The good thing is he’s built up if we do need another spot start. That’s the good thing for us. You always have concerns about your depth, and he gives us that.”

Of Sabathia’s impending return, Phelps said: “I’m just going to show up tomorrow and do my work and go from there. I’ll think about the next day when it comes. … I’m not going to be able to do what he does, but I just go out there and try to keep us in the game every time my name’s called. Hopefully I keep doing it.”

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