Results tagged ‘ David Phelps ’
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.
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.”
The Yankees were hit with a double-whammy of injuries to left-handers CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte on Wednesday, but general manager Brian Cashman said that his preference is to search for answers within the organization before burning up the telephone lines looking for potential trades.
Sabathia (left groin strain) should be back in the Yankees’ rotation after the All-Star break, missing just two starts, but Pettitte (fractured left ankle) is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
“I would prefer not to go outside,” Cashman said. “Obviously if we do go outside, we’ve done that before. This is part of the process. You have to have alternatives; this gives opportunities for people to step up. Just like some guys in the bullpen have allowed us to step up and withstand some injuries – that’s what Boone Logan, Clay Rapada and [Cody] Eppley have done – we’re going to have to ask for some other guys to do that for the rotation, as well. Let’s play it out and see where it takes us.”
The Yankees have already assigned starts to Adam Warren and Freddy Garcia, and Cashman said that David Phelps could soon be promoted from Class-A Tampa, where he is building back into a starter.
Phelps threw 55 pitches in his last outing at Class-A and could throw 65 to 70 pitches next time. Cashman said that Phelps would have been the first choice if he was ready to serve as a starter, but since he isn’t, the call will go to Warren.
“Warren is by far the next best for us. He’s earned it,” Cashman said. “He almost earned the opportunity last year, too. We’re excited to get a chance to see what he’s got to do. I know this is a day he’s been dreaming about and growing for. Throw strikes, try to eliminate the butterflies, trust the guys he’s got behind him and we’ll see where he takes us.
“He’s earned the right and he’s due for the opportunity. Now it’s going to come, which is great. Whatever happens is going to happen in the short-term; it’s not going to change the fact that we believe he’s a big-league starter going forward here at some point on a consistent basis.”