NEW YORK -- After spending the past two weeks in Tampa, Fla., to stretch out his arm and return to his role as a starter, right-hander David Phelps found himself back in the Yankees' bullpen for Friday's game against the White Sox.
The Yankees recalled Phelps from Class A Advanced Tampa and optioned right-hander Ryota Igarashi, who spent one day in New York, to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Phelps made two starts and 11 relief appearances earlier this season with the Yankees, but he returns as a long man, with Freddy Garcia shifting to the rotation.
Phelps may not have started Friday's game -- a 14-7 loss -- but in relief, he lasted an inning longer than New York's starter, Adam Warren, who was making his Major League debut and surrendered six runs on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings.
"He's not built up to 100 pitches," manager Joe Girardi said of Phelps. "I can't tell you what's going to happen today or tomorrow or the next day, but right now, we'll use him as a long man."
General manager Brian Cashman said on Wednesday, when the Yankees placed starters CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte on the disabled list, that Phelps would be the top option to take a spot in the rotation if he were stretched out.
Phelps most recently threw 50 pitches in 3 1/3 scoreless innings for Tampa. His next start was supposed to last 75 pitches and four to five innings, and he was in line for a promotion to Triple-A once he made a five-inning start.
So the Yankees recalled Warren for Friday's start and moved Garcia from his role as a long reliever in the bullpen to Monday's starter against the Rays.
Phelps made his Major League debut earlier this season out of the bullpen, then made a pair of starts in early May, then returned the bullpen before the Yankees activated David Robertson from the DL and optioned Phelps to Tampa.
Phelps remains unsure of how his role will evolve in New York -- he took Garcia's spot in the rotation after the veteran struggled -- but he is not fazed by the prospect of moving between the bullpen and the rotation.
"This is obviously where I want to be," Phelps said. "It's nice to be back. The circumstances aren't ideal, obviously, and you never want to get called up at the expense of somebody getting hurt, but I'm going to be here to help the team in whatever role that might be."