Add David Phelps to the list of pitchers who have been given the ball in the fifth position of the Miami Marlins rotation. The reliever has been named the starter for Friday’s game series opener against Colorado at Coors Field.
When looking at all of his options, Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly said the fact Phelps had 59 appearances in relief for Miami did factor in the decision to give him the ball.
The New York Yankees traded Phelps and Martín Prado to the Miami Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones, and Domingo Germán.
At the start of the 2016 season, Phelps was installed as the Marlins primary setup reliever, usually called in to pitch the eighth inning. Through 25 games, he has maintained an ERA of 1.93.
"Everybody is looking to get better any way they can, and I think we were kind of the same," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday via MLB.com. "I know there were some other things going on at the Deadline, but knowing [Phelps] was there, obviously, we knew he has done this."
In his first season with the Marlins (2015), Phelps proved he could be a versatile asset to the pitching staff. Phelps made 23 appearances, with 19 starts. His career ERA starting is 4.36.
Pitching in hitter-friendly Coors Field may not be the best place for Phelps to make his first start of the season.
The Marlins have had a pitching dilemma all season from the fifth spot, but the problems with the rotation got a lot more muddled the past two weeks.
As the MLB.com story continues, a need for rotation depth was created when Wei-Yin Chen went on the disabled list with a left elbow sprain on July 25.
Miami felt it had solidified its rotation on Friday when it completed a seven-player trade with the Padres. Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea were brought in to fill two spots. But on Saturday, Rea worked just 3 1/3 innings before suffering a right elbow injury.