David Phelps of the New York Yankees. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The New York Yankees' starting pitching has left a lot to be desired so far in the 2012 season. Freddy Garcia has been banished to the bullpen. Phil Hughes has a 7.48 ERA. Michael Pineda is lost for the season with a torn labrum. Even Ivan Nova, who had a 15-game winning streak snapped Wednesday night, is scuffling along with a 5.58 ERA.
When the Yankees open a four-game series Thursday night (8:10 pm. ET/YES) in Kansas City they will be auditioning rookie right-hander David Phelps, 25, whose first major-league start after six impressive relief appearances comes at a time when it might be more than a simple 'hold a spot for Andy Pettitte' type of game. If Phelps (0-0, 3.57 ERA) is impressive it could lead to a competition between he and Hughes for the fifth spot in the rotation.
"I'm really excited," Phelps said. "I'm trying as much as I can to take it like it's any other game, but it's a big deal for me. It's going to be awesome. I'm gonna have a lot of family there."
The 13-11 Yankees are 3.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League. The Royals are 7-16, fourth in the AL Central. Strengely, Kansas City has not won a home game yet this season, posting an 0-10 mark at Kauffman Stadium.
Left-hander Danny Duffy (1-2, 3.63 ERA) starts Thursday night for Kansas City.
Here are the pitching matchups for the rest of the series:
- Friday: CC Sabathia (3-0, 4.58) vs. Bruce Chen (0-3, 4.23)
- Saturday: Hiroki Kuroda (2--3, 3.69) vs. TBA)
- Sunday: Phil Hughes (1-4, 7.48) vs. Luke Hochevar (2-2, 7.36)
4 game series vs Royals @ Kauffman Stadium
|Fri 05/04||8:10 PM EDT|
|Sat 05/05||7:10 PM EDT|
|Sun 05/06||2:10 PM EDT|
-- See Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis of the Yankees. Also, check out the really well produced Willie Mays Aikens video below:
Willie Mays Aikens: Safe At Home - Full Nelson (via sbnation)