David Phelps pitched about as badly as you can pitch in his last outing Wednesday night, recording just one out while getting booed off the mound.
“It stinks,” Phelps said after losing to the rival New York Mets. “Obviously, it’s one of the worst outings you can have. But I’m not going to let it kill me.”
Phelps returns to the mound on Tuesday night against the Indians. The 26-year-old is still very much alive, but could his rotation spot be in jeopardy? If he gets shelled again, perhaps.
In six starts this season, Phelps is 2-2 with a 4.32 ERA. In 33 1/3 innings, he’s allowed 31 hits and 17 runs, walked 12 and struck out 28.
If the right-hander falters again, the Yankees could, in theory, opt to bring up Vidal Nuno or Ivan Nova to take his place. Nuno was effective in three starts before being sent down, while Nova pitched five innings of one-run relief on May 29 before being demoted to Triple-A.
Phelps has done admirable work for the Yankees in 2013. Another poor start, though, and he could quickly find himself in the bullpen.
UP NOW: Wallace Matthews’ column about Mr. Disappointment himself, Alex Rodriguez, and my notes from Monday night’s 7-4 victory over the Indians, leading with Mark Teixeira, who hit a grand slam for his first homer of the season.
ON DECK: Phelps (3-3, 4.65) vs. lefty Scott Kazmir (3-2, 5.13), a familiar name to Mets fans. First pitch, 7:05 p.m. Andrew Marchand and Matt Ehalt will be on the scene.