Thursday’s early camp notes: Phelps on the hill
Happy Valentine’s Day from George M. Steinbrenner Field, where we’re into Day 2 of workouts for pitchers and catchers. Today’s schedule is a bit lighter than yesterday, but there’s still some activity out here, as David Phelps was on the mound this morning for a live batting practice session.
It’s a little early in the spring to be facing hitters, but Phelps has been down here for about three weeks now. He worked to Francisco Cervelli and Bobby Wilson on the diamond, firing 30 pitches with J.R. Murphy doing the catching.
Cody Eppley, Adam Warren and Brett Marshall also threw live BPs this morning, but the focus is on Phelps, who is going up against Ivan Nova to serve as the fifth starter in one of the Yankees’ few camp competitions.
“I didn’t really have any set goals,” Phelps said. “I’m just trying to get better every day. I don’t want to look too far in advance because you can lose track of what you’re doing today. I’m just trying to learn a little bit more every day, trying to pick guys’ brains, whether it be Andy [Pettitte] or some of the other guys. I’m just trying to gain as much knowledge as I can about going out, doing your job and getting guys out.”
Nova and Joba Chamberlain also threw side sessions this morning, while David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Jose Ramirez, Francisco Rondon and Josh Spence are set to throw bullpens later.
There’s been no sign of newly-acquired reliever Shawn Kelley, who was picked up from the Mariners yesterday in exchange for Minor League outfielder Abraham Almonte; Kelley will probably need a day or so to pack up his belongings before joining the team and competing with Eppley for a role in the Yanks’ bullpen.
One new wrinkle was added to the mix this morning — the Yankees commissioned an 11 a.m. bus to bring some of the pitchers across the street to the Himes Avenue Minor League complex to continue their workouts, since there’s a few more hitters over there to throw to. We’ll have more from camp later today.