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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Postgame notes: Progress and frustration for Phelps

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 16, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

David Phelps had the bases empty with two outs in the fifth. He’d allowed one run on five hits, no walks and five strikeouts. He was well on his way to another strong start, one perfectly in keeping with his strong spring. Then he walked Jason Heyward.

“Before that, for the 4.2 innings, I felt like I was as locked in as I’ve been,” Phelps said. “… Two-out walk and it snowballed. I was too worried about him hurting me there and just started getting behind guys. Fastball felt good today, all my pitches felt good. Probably the best command-wise and stuff-wise I’ve felt this spring, but a little lapse right there. Didn’t bear down with two outs and it led to three more runs.”

Walk to Heyward. RBI single by Justin Upton. Three-run homer crushed by Juan Francisco. Before Phelps could strikeout Evan Gattis to finally end that fifth, his night had crumbled into his worst outing of the spring. It’s one of those games that managers talk about when they say they’re interested in more than numbers in spring training.

“He made some mistakes, got into some long counts, got behind a little bit, which hurt him,” Joe Girardi said. “But overall, I think it’s a progressive day for him. It’s progress.”

Girardi said he plans to keep using Phelps and Ivan Nova as starters until the Yankees are certain that Phil Hughes will be ready to open the season, which might not happen until after the team breaks camp. There’s no rush to name a fifth starter, because the Yankees might need six starters for the first week or so. But Phelps said he’s not even taking a roster spot for granted.

“There’s two weeks left and we’re still in camp,” Phelps said. “I’ll let you know when they announce the roster what I’ve achieved. I don’t feel like I’ve achieved anything up to this point.”

• Eduardo Nunez led off the game with a sharp single, but the moment that stood out was his sharp play in the sixth inning that started a 6-4-3 double play. He really does look more consistent in the field this spring. “He’s worked really hard,” Girardi said. “There’s a lot of extra work for him, and he’s worked really hard and I think it’s paying off.”

• Two Yankees errors in this one. Jayson Nix was charged with an error on a fairly tough — but playable — ball to third, and Melky Mesa was charged with an error when he tried to throw out Heyward at the plate in the fifth inning. Mesa’s throw went way, way, way over Francisco Cervelli’s head and let the batter stretch a single to third base. “Got away from him a little bit,” Girardi said. “There you’ve got to hit the cutoff man and not let the guy get to second.”

• By the way, Girardi assured that Brennan Boesch and Ben Francisco do not have big league jobs sewn up. He was specifically asked about Mesa and said he’s still very much in contention. Brian Cashman said essentially the same thing this afternoon. “There is no guarantee for anything,” Girardi said. “We will continue to evaluate these guys as we move forward.”

• Girardi said he never saw Ronnier Mustelier today. I saw him briefly at Steinbrenner Field but didn’t have a chance to ask how he was feeling. Girardi said he’s still expecting Mustelier to be back in the lineup on Tuesday. Won’t play tomorrow.

• The Yankees were shutout in both games today. They lost 7-0 in Tampa and 4-0 here in Orlando. “(The runs) weren’t here today,” Girardi said. “They weren’t in Florida for us today.”

• Nice to see lefty Jeremy Bleich, who I got to know a little bit over at the minor league complex years ago. He was a supplemental pick back in 2008, but he’s hardly pitched since 2009 because of injury problems. The Yankees have now shifted him to the bullpen, and today he threw one pitch to retire his only batter (lefty Blake Dewitt). Bleich said his arm finally feels good and strong again. He sounded optimistic. It would be interesting to see him pitch his way back onto the roster. The Yankees liked his arm quite a bit when they drafted him.

• Robinson Cano was named the MVP of his pool of the World Baseball Classic. “Maybe he can get two MVPs in one year,” Girardi said.

Associated Press photo



25 Responses to “Postgame notes: Progress and frustration for Phelps”

  1. blake March 16th, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Well the split squads today managed 0 runs in 18 innings but they did muster 10 hits…..bless them

  2. 4 NYY March 16th, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Kind of makes me misty-eyed, I mean Musty !

    Seriously, our offense is gonna be a “chore” the way it stands right now.

    And actually, I’m concerned with our “older” pitching staff for the long season.

    But, we’ll still play the games and see.

  3. mick March 16th, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    ” There’s no rush to name a fifth starter, because the Yankees might need six starters for the first week or so.”
    How so? They won’t need a 5th starter til April 10.

  4. tucker March 16th, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Yeah, I would think they would not need a fifth starter until the second time through the rotation. Sherman suggested starting the season with Hughes on the DL and activating him for his spot during the second run thru the rotation.

    Regardless, they have to score runs when the season starts.

  5. mick March 16th, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    That is the face of a bulldog!

  6. Chad Jennings March 16th, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    mick March 16th, 2013 at 9:48 pm e
    ” There’s no rush to name a fifth starter, because the Yankees might need six starters for the first week or so.”
    How so? They won’t need a 5th starter til April 10.

    Six starters if Phil isn’t ready. In that case, both Phelps and Nova will be in the rotation for the first turn. And the Yankees will need a fifth starter on April 7.

  7. Jerkface March 16th, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I think they’ll put cc on 5 days rest instead of putting the rest of the rotation on 5 days rest because of his elbow. Then they’ll need the 5th guy on the 7th.

  8. jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Well,….I’m hoping Jimmy Key hangs in there! :)

  9. jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    One of the moves I didn’t like from the start was letting Key go in favour of Dave Stewart.

  10. jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Jimmy Key was quite pivotal for the Jays in ’92.

  11. Oscar Madison March 16th, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    What an offensive outburst today. LMAO !

    It’s gonna be a long season…………………..

  12. jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Oscar, I hope its before we can blink! :)

  13. jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Meant to say, ” hope its over before we can blink ” :)

  14. jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    ” I hope its before blinking, ” is good too :D

  15. jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Pat Benatar and her partner ( in the band ) deserve total credit. Kudos to them!!! ” I neeed a lover that won’t drive me crazy ” – fantastique people!

  16. mick March 16th, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    mills if you like ruth gordon check this out: Where’s Poppa

  17. Oscar Madison March 16th, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:15 pm


    Will Boesch be our savior ?

  18. jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Hi Mick, Ruth Gorden, ok.

  19. jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Oscar, Bosch was supposed to be the saviour here ! :) . ( After, Carter )

  20. tucker March 16th, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Best to Shelly Duncan and his family as they deal with this sad news:

  21. jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Mick, ” where’s poppa ? ” – obviously another film I don’t know, thanks :)

  22. jmills March 16th, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Tucker, sorry to hear that.

  23. blake March 17th, 2013 at 8:34 am

    @eboland11: Today’s lineup: Nunez 6 boesch 9 youkilis 5 rivera 3 nix 4 Stewart 2 Neal 7 Johnson dh mesa 8 nova 1

    With good fortune this lineup has the potential to score 1 run

  24. austinmac March 17th, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I am wildly predicting we score a run today.

    The NY Times has an article on the 1965 Yankees and wondering if this is the year. I had thought it was 2014, not I am not too sure. This year, in honesty and candor, could be a sub .500 team.
    They will struggle to score even when the Grandy and hopefully Teixiera return. Until then, forget it.

  25. austinmac March 17th, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Building a significant part of your team picking up released players is not, to say the least, a plan to win.

    It all began two years ago when they stopped trying to improve by spending. Now, they will understand why the Brewers rarely win.

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