Phil is expected to be out about another month with the cracked rib that sent him to the DL. With the Raz our best pitcher of late, and Joba headed for the rotation, when he comes back there may very well be no room for Phil in the rotation.
I'm starting to think that it might be smart to put Phil in the 'pen when he comes back and allow him to fight for the vacated Joba roll of 8th inning wonder.
I am absolutely convinced that Phil is destined for stardom as an Ace starting pitcher. He obviously struggled mightily however in the beginning of this year. A combination of mechanics, approach and confidence had Phil on a downward spiral before the Yanks realized he had a cracked rib.
When he returns, a shot to pitch out of the 'pen may be able to restore him to the right path.
Phil has an excellent fastball and a plus curve; a perfect recipe for bullpen success. Bringing him in for an inning at a time might allow him to stop thinking and worrying about his approach and allow him to simply rear back and fire away.
A stint in the 'pen might also allow him to regain his confidence and reacquire the swagger a successful pitcher needs.
Phil is not going to reach his innings limit this year either way. At 21 there is still a ton of time for him to develop and realize his stud potential. Putting him in the 'pen for the rest of this year might just be the best way to go about it.