After having a very good Spring Training for the Yankees, he won the 2012 James P. Dawson Award which is given to 1 outstanding rookie each year at Spring Training, Phelps made the team as the long-man. So far this year in the majors Phelps has put up some very good numbers, both in relief and in the starting role. Phelps has a 1-3 record, with a pretty good 2.89 ERA. In 43.2 innings pitched, Phelps has given up 37 hits, 15 runs, 14 earned runs, he was walked 17 and struck out 46, with a WHIP of 1.24. Those are pretty good numbers.
Phelps has provided the Yankees not only with pitching depth but also with versatility. A starter in the minors, Phelps has pitched quite a few innings in relief for the Yankees this season. He is a guy that can give you some innings out of the bullpen if needed, but he is also a guy that can give you some starts. Earlier in the year Phelps got an opportunity to start as Freddy Garcia struggled as the number 5 starter. Before Andy Pettitte made his 2012 debut with the Yankees, Phelps made 2 starts and although he got the loss in one of them and a no decision in the other he still pitched well. First major league start against the Royals he gave up a couple of runs in 4 innings but his second start he went 5 innings and didn’t allow a run. Since Phelps had been working out of the bullpen before these starts he was not stretched out so he wasn’t able to go deeper into the games. But he did show the Yankees that he can indeed be Major league starter.
Now back with the team after getting sent down (Yankees wanted him to get some work in as a starter since he wasn’t really pitching out of the bullpen), Phelps is back with the team and hopefully he is here to stay. Yankees plan on using him out of the bullpen to give them some innings and “do the job Corey Wade used to do.” But don’t be surprised if Phelps is asked to start a few games until Pettitte returns from his injury, especially if Garcia continues to struggle.
Presently, Phelps gives the Yankees options. But he is also an important part for the Yankees going forward. The Yankees want to get their payroll down to $189 million by 2014, and in order to achieve that goal they need their youngsters in the Minors to produce in the Majors. So far Phelps has shown that he can be successful in the Majors. By next year, the Yankees should give him an opportunity in Spring Training to fight for a spot in the rotation. Just 25 years old, Phelps cost is relatively low and he is under team control for quite some time, and the Yankees need that in order to achieve their payroll goals. Along with Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda (once he is healthy), Phelps would be another young, relatively cheap pitcher in the rotation. With the veteran Ace CC Sabathia leading the way, the Yankees could have a pretty good rotation. Knowing the Yankees they would probably want another veteran in there, but Phelps only adds to the pitching depth the Yankees could have and he is someone that can really help out his team.
David Phelps is someone the Yankees need to keep on their team because he is showing that he is a very valuable player for this team.