Because the injuries to the Yankees’ starting rotation apparently never stop, David Phelps exited last night’s game after two innings with what the team is calling right elbow inflammation.
After the game manager Joe Girardi revealed to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that Phelps has been dealing with elbow problems for “three or four weeks” already and recently underwent an MRI exam that came back clean. Despite that, Phelps posted a 2.97 ERA in five July starts.
Wallace writes that Phelps seems likely to miss at least one start and the fact that Girardi felt the need to say “I believe he’s going to pitch again” this season certainly suggests it could require a stint on the disabled list alongside fellow starters Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, and Ivan Nova.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.