David Phelps spent nearly a month in the big leagues before he made his first start. The Yankees had been impressed with his poise in spring training, he’d proven he could throw strikes and get outs as a reliever, but Phelps first start was something he didn’t expect. It was … different.
“My adrenalin was going a little bit more than I thought it would,” he said. “I hadn’t started since the one in spring training, but I was definitely a little more amped up than I thought I would be. … Just slow things down a little better (tonight). Take my time between pitches and just not let my emotions get the best of me.”
Tonight, Phelps makes his second career start knowing he might have to wait a while for his third. With Andy Pettitte coming back on Sunday, someone will have to fall out of the Yankees rotation. Phil Hughes might have been the natural choice two weeks ago, but he’s looked much better in his past two starts. Ivan Nova eliminated any chance of being on the bubble when he shutdown the Rays last night.
Whether in the rotation or out of the bullpen, Phelps is proving he can be a valuable pitcher for the Yankees this season. Even in that emotion-filled start in Kansas City, Phelps showed an ability to pitch out of trouble and limit the damage. He lasted just four innings, but he walked none and struck out five.
“I’m just going start to start with it,” Phelps said. “I’m just going out there thinking about (tonight) and hopefully let things take care of themselves. I’m just trying to worry as little about what’s going on around me as I can.”
Associated Press photo