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Yankees plan to shift David Phelps from the rotation to the bullpen

Aug 21, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

For as much help as the Yankees have needed in the rotation this season they’ve decided that whenever David Phelps returns from the disabled list he’ll do so as a reliever rather than as a starter.

Phelps started 17 games with a 4.28 ERA before being shut down with elbow problems three weeks ago, but manager Joe Girardi told Brendan Kuty of the Newark Star Ledger: “It obviously won’t happen over night, but we’ll try to get him ready for the bullpen.”

Not having to build back his arm strength for a starter’s workload would allow Phelps to return from the disabled list much sooner and he does have plenty of bullpen experience, logging 75 career innings as a reliever with a 3.60 ERA and 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings compared to a 4.34 ERA and 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings in 220 frames as a starter.

  1. pisano - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    How about shutting Phelps and Tanaka down for the rest of the season and bring them back at full strength next year. This team is obviously going nowhere but fourth place.

    • pete2112 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      Totally agree. However, we all know Tanaka can sit for as long as he wants but that tear is going to need T.J. surgery eventually.

      • pete2112 - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        I have to laugh sometimes when I get thumbed down for certain things. Was that you Brian Cashman?

      • Kevin S. - Aug 21, 2014 at 1:58 PM

        Depending on how bad the tear is, it can be years before it finally goes. I think Waino went something like five years with a partial tear before his finally snapped.

      • pete2112 - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Kevin, I hope that’s the case. I just think they should have just nipped in the bud right away.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 21, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        Perhaps, but that’s Tanaka’s call as much as it is the Yankees’. If he wants to rehab, I’m not going to pretend I’m his doctor.

      • pisano - Aug 21, 2014 at 7:33 PM

        pete1212…I agree 100 %, I felt they should have done the surgery a month ago, this will come back to bite them.

  2. pete2112 - Aug 21, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Just so I’m clear for those thumbing down… are you just Yankee haters and thumb down any comment or are you just not fans of Tommy John surgery?

    • zzalapski - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      Dude, you’re waaaaay too fixated on this thumbs nonsense.

      • pete2112 - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        That question was meant as a joke. I guess it fell flat.

  3. bmadormo - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Phelps one of those guys that gets shuffled back and forth. That’s when they never quite find their place. Would like to see him get a FULL shot as a starter.

    • pete2112 - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      I feel bad for him. He had some really good starts but didn’t get a lot of run support and in some cases had some really bad defense playing behind him. I think they’ll need him next season as a starter from the get go.

  4. genericcommenter - Aug 21, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    If you’ve paid attention lately, their starters have been let down buy the bullpen and hitters. When your 12th and 13th starters can give you 6-7 innings of 2-3 run ball and you still lose, it’s not their fault. They have 3 relievers who are mostly reliable and overworked. Everyone is a scrap heap AAAA guy.

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