David Phelps did a good job in his first couple of Major League starts, but was taken out of the rotation for no fault of his own when Andy Pettitte returned to the Bronx. He returned to his earlier role as long-man out of the bullpen, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he may be forced to use Phelps in a one-inning role to make sure the young pitcher gets work.
“I think I’m going to have to use him (in a one-inning role), and use him sometimes (like) that and sometimes multiple innings,” Girardi told Chad Jennings of the Journal News. “It’s a guy that has done a pretty good job against left-handers and right-handers, and I think you can do that along with (Cory Wade).”
The Yankees have options here, but I like the idea of Phelps potentially getting a bigger role in the bullpen if he continues to pitch well. Freddy Garcia is also out there and it’s only been three appearances, but if he keeps pitching well too than he can justifiably be used as the long-man, freeing up Phelps for more of a middle relief job.
There is a reason to avoid doing that. If that happens it won’t take long before Phelps isn’t stretched out enough to be an emergency starter if the Yankees needed one. In that case they would have to use Garcia which might not be as good an idea as using Phelps. They could always call up D.J. Mitchell for an emergency start if they didn’t trust Garcia though.