Saturday, September 14, 2013
Pregame notes: Phelps is back
By Wallace Matthews
BOSTON -- The Yankees added another piece to their battered bullpen for Saturday's game against the Red Sox, reactivating right-hander David Phelps, who had been on the disabled list since July 6 with a right forearm strain. Phelps, who threw one- and two-inning simulated games in Tampa this week, will be limited to relief duty for the remainder of the season.
"He could be extremely important," Joe Girardi said. "He's someone who has experience and is used to coming out of the bullpen because he did it for us in the past. One inning in these type of games could be extremely important, as we saw last night."
Cesar Cabral and Preston Claiborne conspired to give the Red Sox a four-run seventh inning Friday night, which decided Boston's 8-4 victory, and Girardi made it sound as if he would to go Phelps if a similar situation arises today.
"I'm not so sure we have a chance to be patient with him," Girardi said. "He might be thrown right in the fire."
• Same goes for J.R. Murphy. The 22-year-old catcher was thrust into a backup role when Austin Romine got hurt, and is now thrust into the starting catcher's role for Saturday's crucial game with Chris Stewart showing the wear and tear of having caught 90 games this season. This will not only be Murphy's first Major League start, but also the first time he has ever caught CC Sabathia in a game, although Girardi thought Murphy might have caught some bullpens with CC during spring training.
"Sometimes you have to do things," Girardi said. "He hasn’t caught a whole lot of our guys. It’s just something we have to do."
Girardi said if Francisco Cervelli, who won the starting catcher's job in the spring, hadn't gotten hurt, Stewart probably wouldn't have caught more than 60 games this season. "He's had to play a lot," Girardi said. "He's a little beat up, too."
• Alex Rodriguez will DH for a fourth straight game today, and as both he and Girardi hinted after Friday night's game, is unlikely to play third base again until Tuesday in Toronto at the earliest. "Girardi even raised the possibility that A-Rod could be a DH for the final 14 games of the season. "We could do that," Girardi said. "You'd like to maybe give another guy a DH day once in a while too, but if it's what we have to do, it's what we have to do."
Girardi said he didn't pinch-run for A-Rod on Friday night in the seventh inning, when his ailing legs failed to carry him home from first on Robinson Cano's bases-loaded double, because of the possibility he would come to bat again in the ninth. "I thought it was too early in the game," Girardi said, adding, "I thought he would move better than he did."
• Sabathia is 10-10 with a 4.62 ERA lifetime against the Red Sox and 4-4, 5.30 at Fenway Park. He did get the win here on August 18, the night of the Ryan Dempster-A-Rod drilling and near brawl, but allowed an unsightly six runs in 5 1/3 innings. Red Sox starter Jon Lester is 10-5 lifetime against the Yankees (4.11 ERA).