David Phelps was one of the many pitchers fortunate enough to be apart of the Yankees organization. But despite being fortunate for what the Yankees have done for him, Phelps will take the mound for the Miami Marlins with the intent to send the Yankees back to the Bronx with another loss under their belts. The most fascinating thing about tonight’s game isn’t the fact David Phelps is pitching–he’ll be opposed by Nathan Eovaldi, who was part of the Phelps and Martin Prado trade.
“That is strange,” Girardi said before yesterday’s 2-1 loss to the Marlins. “I started thinking about that. I’m sure it’s happened before, but I’ve never seen it. I’ve never been part of it as a player or manager that it’s happened.”
Despite Phelps trying to send the Yankees home with another loss, he holds no animosity towards the organization for trading him and understands it’s a business. But Phelps did say the Yankees organization was big on family, which was what it felt like at times.
“There are some really good relationships over there (the Yankees), and that’s what this game is all about,” Phelps said before last night’s game. “You might leave, but Joe (Girardi) does a really god job of getting that family mentality. Once you leave, it doesn’t change. You’re in a new family, but at the same time, the ties in Major League Baseball are pretty strong — and a lot of those guys go back to minor league baseball with me, too.”
Phelps’s closest friend might have been Adam Warren, the two of them going back to the Yankees minor league system. Both of them have found success in the rotation for their respective teams and for a while it seemed the two friends were going to battle against each other. But instead, the Yankees shifted their rotation around last week, which set up tonight’s Eovaldi and Phelps matchup.
Both teams want to win tonight’s game, but for the most part, Phelps is just glad he gets to see his old friends again.
“I don’t want to say I had it circled on my calendar, but it was definitely a series I looked at as soon as I got traded,” Phelps said. “… Any time you leave New York, it’s tough. I had a lot of good relationships there and that’s all I knew. I got drafted in 2008. I grew up with them as a player. My kids grew up with the Yankees. It’s what my wife knew. She knew the wives there. That was the hardest thing. Baseball is baseball. I feel like I can pitch wherever I go.”