Phelps thus far has pitched to a 3.50 ERA in ten games started and 81.2 innings pitched. His solid numbers are attributed to the determination and hard work that he has put in over his career.
"If I have a bad start I just try to put it behind me," Phelps said. "I just go out to my bullpen session and try to get better. For me it's just a matter of being consistent throughout the year."
Phelps still has a little more progress to make before he can be a factor at the next level but his stuff is getting better every year.
"[My stuff] has gotten a lot better. My command has gotten a lot better. It's all coming with the mechanics," Phelps said. "My mechanics have gotten better so my stuff is coming with it. I'm still trying to work on some offspeed stuff as we're going right now."
Phelps' pitches are coming along great and the progress has shown. He has moved up three levels in three years over his career. The Yankees have made his main focus on improving his curveball, though.
"It's gotten a lot better. I'm still trying to find which situations of the game I want to throw it in," Phelps said. "I'm trying to be more aggressive with it and trying to throw it more but other than that it has come a long way."
With any professional pitcher, it doesn't matter how good you come to be. You will always be focusing on certain things to improve your game and that is something that Phelps is continuously doing.
"[I'm working on] the command of all four of my pitches and being able to throw offspeed pitches when I'm behind in the count so that I'm not always throwing fastballs," Phelps said.
Working behind in the count isn't something Phelps likes to pitch from. He has always been known to have a "bulldog mentality" because he is constantly attacking the strike zone. This style of pitching gives him an advantage when it comes to pitching.
"It kind of gets hitters on the defensive right away," Phelps said. "I try to do my best to keep my pitch count down so that I can pitch deeper in the game and attacking the strike zone really helps that out."
Phelps has developed into a fine prospect out of the Yankees organization and he gets a lot of support from his teammates. He is always giving the team a chance to win when he goes out there.
"He is a good guy and has a good personality," said Scranton Wilkes-Barre catcher Jesus Montero. "He throws a lot of strikes and he helps the team win."
Like every pitcher in baseball, thought, there is bad with the good. Phelps has been criticized because he has leaned away from not pitching hitters inside in the past but it is something he is working on getting better at.
"One of my best out pitches is my inside fastball to lefties and I'm trying to make a better effort to go in on righties now," Phelps said. "The majority of the time I am throwing away to both lefties and righties but we're trying to make more of an effort to go in on them."
Considering how fast Phelps has made it through the Yankees organization and the wildcard that is the New York Yankees rotation, Phelps is hoping that his call to the big leagues will come soon.
"I just have to be consistent. You can't have those starts where you come out and pitch well and then come out your next time and struggle," Phelps said. "I just have to keep consistent with all four of my pitches and my mechanics and keep getting better."
If Phelps does get that call it will be likely that he will be pitching out of New York's bullpen and it could very well be at some point this season. He has seen his teammates being called up and down because of the teams needs all season.
"I hope [I get called up soon]. They are all throwing the ball well [in New York] so it will just be a matter of time to see if things end up working out," Phelps said.
As Phelps pointed out, the key for that call-up is for him to be consistent and so far this season he has done just that.
"I just need keep getting better and be even more consistent, Phelps said. "I just need to get over that hump and pitch like I'm capable of every night."
Phelps Continues To Work On Consistency
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