New York Yankees‘ right-handed pitcher David Phelps was given a golden opportunity about two weeks ago when fellow hurler Ivan Nova went down with a triceps injury that landed him on the disabled list. Phelps has been given his window to take the number five spot in the rotation, and not just while Nova is sidelined, but possibly for the remainder of the season.
All Phelps needs to do is string together some impressive outings that would give manager Joe Girardi enough justification to not put Nova back in the rotation upon his return. However, Phelps didn’t take advantage of this opportunity in his first start as he gave up four runs over 5 2/3 innings against the lowly Houston Astros.
Tonight offers Phelps a second chance to show exactly why he should have been in the rotation from the first day of the season as he will take the mound for the Yankees against the Colorado Rockies.
If Phelps can manage to squeeze out a dominant outing tonight then he most likely is going to get a third start even if Nova is back with the team. Phelps obviously won’t be assured of anything, but he already knows that. Keep in mind that Phelps outperformed Nova in what was supposed to be a spring competition for the fifth starting spot, but he still found himself coming out of the pen to begin the year.
Phelps is aware of how important his performance tonight is, and hopefully that added to pressure to an otherwise unimportant early-May game will help push him to success at Coors.
Chris Ronca is a New York Yankees writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter; @ChrisRonca.