2013 Statistics: 86 2/3 Innings Pitched, 12 starts, 8.2 K/9, 3.63 BB/9, 4.98 ERA, 3.81 FIP
2014 Contract Status: Under Yankees control, pre-arbitration eligible
Looking back on the 2013 season, David Phelps may have had one of the more forgettable seasons on this Yankees staff. Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain's implosions, CC Sabathia's decline, Hiroki Kuroda's great season, the emergence of Ivan Nova and David Robertson, and the last hurrahs for Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera all demanded attention. David Phelps took his place as an afterthought from the beginning of the season. He failed to make the rotation. When he did make the rotation he amassed typical fifth-starter statistics, and he only pitched four innings after July 4th due to a strained forearm. He was expected to miss a start or two, but his recovery was stunted eventually leading to placement on the 60-day disabled list. He did return in September for four decent appearances, giving up two runs with four strikeouts.
Despite the lack of attention to Phelps' season, he amassed the sixth most innings on the Yankees with 86 2/3. His ERA was a disappointing 4.98, but his peripherals suggested he was a little unlucky. He struck out close to a batter per inning and his HR/FB rate of 8.9% is a fine rate. He did walk a few more batters than he should at 3.63 per nine innings, but poor luck due to a .321 BABIP and 66.8 Left On Base percentage along with his 3.81 FIP suggest he pitched better than his ERA.
Phelps earned his spot in the rotation after an excellent relief performance against Toronto on April 26, 2013. He pitched four innings and struck out nine. He made his first start on May 1st. He made 12 starts and pitched 65 2/3 innings. Given the small amount of innings, a few bad outings can really ruin a final stat line. Phelps had a couple doozies. On May 29th against the Mets, Phelps only recorded one out and gave up four earned runs. In his second to last start before hitting the disabled list, the Yankee righty made it just 2 1/3 innings and gave up nine runs against Baltimore. In Phelps' other ten starts, he had an ERA of 3.29.
A return to the mound in September provided some encouragement that he will be able to undergo a normal offseason program and compete for a rotation spot in Spring Training. The season did not go as planned for Phelps, but he did show enough during the season to indicate he can earn a future spot in the rotation. Ultimately, that was enough to award him with a C on the season.
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