No, I object. No, I respectfully disagree. No, you are not correct in your assertion. David Phelps belongs in the rotation, Casey! I wish I could just say “the end,” but instead I am compelled to defend David Phelps as a versatile member of our starting pitching staff. In typical Girardi form, let me play the statistics for you.
Stat 1: Stellar ERA- With CC Sabathia at a 5.28, Hiroki Kuroda at 4.55, Ivan Nova at 8.27 (albeit out with Tommy John surgery), and Vidal Nuno 5.49, I say the numbers don’t lie. David Phelps has a 3.38 ERA and consistently gets the job done when the rest of the team pulls their weight.
This point bring me to Stat 2: Here are the problems in the Yankee loss on Tuesday night: Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, the shift and no offense. Kelly Johnson does not belong at first base, EVER. Frankly, I would like to say that he should not be playing, at least not here in the major leagues. He has three errors already on the season. Send him out on the first bus to Trenton. Two errors just this week and they were little league errors. Then, Brian Roberts lets one fly through his legs at second. Really? He has six errors on the season. Yet ironically, he defends his teammate Phelps after the ugly loss in St. Louis. “Phelps was great, we just didn’t help him out much, Roberts said. He’s been throwing the ball tremendous, and he’s a great competitor, and I know that was hard for him to be out there and feel like he was throwing the ball well and not get any help. We certainly as a defense take the blame for that one,” according to MLB.com.
So, that means Phelps gave up three earned runs and he got no run support for his five strikeouts and eight hits across six innings. That’s a big problem. And I am not a fan of the shift because it only adds confusion to an already strained defense. Had they not done the shift in the third inning, Derek Jeter would have been in his proper position to make the play.
Stat 3: Phil Hughes is not even worthy of a discussion point in this conversation. Hughes had more chances to redeem himself than any Yankee I can remember. He had excuse after excuse for why he could not pitch to his potential in the Bronx. He had a dead arm at one point. Never heard of such a thing until Hughes came along.
As one fan commented to me yesterday, “I don’t understand why the Yankee bats don’t come out for David Phelps.” And you know, I can’t argue with that statement because it is exactly how I feel. I would also add that right side of the infield left their gloves in the dugout.
Let’s cut David Phelps some slack until he has enough games for which to judge him as a starting pitcher in the rotation. He seems to always be the go to guy but why does he have to be the scapegoat to all of the Yankee woes?
--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
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