David Phelps filled many jobs for the Yankees this year — he was a starter, a long reliever, and at times a short reliever too, but despite his ability to wear many hats they still see him as a starter going forward.
“I don’t pencil him in anywhere right now, but I think he’s best as a starter,” Cashman told Chad Jennings of the Journal News. “Good starters can all go to the pen. Pens are where failed starters go. He can do that. All our starters can do that. … Mo was a failed starter. Sorry Mo. The only failure he ever had.”
That’s not Cashman exactly declaring that Phelps will battle for a spot in the Yankees rotation next year, but he will certainly be considered. As it stands right, he’s probably their sixth option if things go well and Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda return. If they don’t, the Yankees will surely at least give Phelps a fighting chance to win a rotation spot.
Of course, if Pettitte and Kuroda do return or if the Yankees sign or trade for a veteran replacement for them, Phelps will be in a similar situation Hector Noesi was in a year ago — ready for a rotation spot but maybe just not with the Yankees — and will be major trade bait.