Today, David Phelps continued showed everyone that he really has a bright future as a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees. Throwing a career high 7 innings allowing only 1 and striking out 8 Blue Jays hitters.
Earlier in the season I preached to take Phelps out of the bullpen and give him a chance to start. He was finally given his chance when Ivan Nova went down with an injury. Since then, he hasn't disappointed me.
Phelps just seems to be getting better with every start and he's slowly bringing Yankees fans away from believing that Nova was the better option to begin with.
In his first start against the Houston Astros, Phelps gave up 4 runs in 5.2 innings. Second start against Colorado, only 2 runs in 6 innings. One run in 6.2 innings against the Indians. And today, 1 run in 7 innings against the Blue Jays.
Without Ivan Nova the Yankees rotation has still been stellar. Hiroki Kuroda is pitching like an ace. Sabathia has been acceptable. Phil Hughes put together a run that showed his true ability. And Andy Pettitte isn't pitching like he's the leagues oldest starter.
Nova on the other hand, wasn't very impressive before his injury. He showed inconsistency in his starts. One day he'll look a good as he did in 2011 and other days, he'll make wonder what happened.
He only started 4 games this season before being placed on the DL with right triceps inflammation on April 27th. But in those 4 starts, he allowed 12 runs in 16.2 innings.
Now Phelps on the other hand, started his 4th game of the season today against the Jays. Phelps' ERA as a starter this season is 2.84. That's about 4 runs less than Nova's 6.48 ERA.
Any way you look at it, Phelps has out pitched Nova through the same amount of starts and there's no way that the Yankees can take him out of the rotation.
For Nova, he's likely to return sometime while Andy Pettitte is still on the DL.Vidal Nuno is currently holding Pettitte's spot in the rotation while he's out.
Though Nuno has pitched well and even threw five scoreless innings in a start for the Yankees on Monday. I'd have to assume Nova would get a chance over Nuno.
But when Pettitte comes back, what happens to whom ever is occupying his spot? If Nuno is pitching well and Nova isn't, do they send him down? What if Phelps regresses as a pitcher and falls into rough slump? Do they go with Nova then or would they let Phelps ride it out?
They've let Nova ride out his struggles as a starting pitcher. Either way, I find it very difficult to see how the Yankees could ever move Phelps back to the bullpen. That's not where he belongs.
Maybe throwing Nova into the bullpen will be a good thing for him. The Yankees have done it before with Phil Hughes and he had success. Phelps pitched well out of the pen. And Adam Warren has also been impressive working as the long relief man this season.
Although it would be easy to slot Nova back into the rotation and push Nuno to the bullpen for the time being. But I think that the best idea would to send Nova straight the bullpen and let him find himself as a pitcher.
Let Nuno start as many games as he can before Pettitte returns. Let him prove he's capable of starting games for a big league team. He showed us on Monday in Cleveland that he can pitch, so let him show it again.
One things for sure, the Yankees will certainly have a problem on their hands when all of these pitchers return. But it's a problem that many teams would love to have.
It seems like everyday the Yankees are brought a new problem to deal with. Yet, if you look at the AL East standing. You'd have no idea that the Yankees had any problems in the first place.