David Phelps
Cleveland Guardians vs. Toronto Blue Jays (cropped).jpg
Phelps with the Blue Jays in 2022
Toronto Blue Jays – No. 35
Born: (1986-10-09) October 9, 1986 (age 35)
St. Louis, Missouri
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 8, 2012, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
(through August 5, 2022)
Win–loss record34–40
Earned run average3.80

David Edward Phelps (born October 9, 1986) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the New York Yankees, Miami Marlins, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and Philadelphia Phillies. Phelps played college baseball at the University of Notre Dame.

Amateur career

Phelps attended Hazelwood West High School in Hazelwood, Missouri, where he played basketball and baseball. For the baseball team, he was named to the All-Conference Team as both an outfielder and pitcher as a sophomore, and as team captain and to the All-Conference, All-Metro Performer, and team captain as a junior and senior. He was a member of the National Honor Society.[1]

Though Phelps was ranked as the sixth best prospect from Missouri prior to the 2005 Major League Baseball draft, Phelps was not selected due to his strong commitment to enroll at the University of Notre Dame, where he pitched for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball team.[1] As a freshman, Phelps pitched sparsely as a reliever. As a sophomore, he pitched in the starting rotation, earning Big East All-Conference First Team, Academic All-District and Academic All-American honors.[1] He struggled in his junior season.[1] While in college, he also pitched for the Mat-Su Miners of the Alaska Baseball League, and in 2007 for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod League.[1][2]

Professional career

New York Yankees

Phelps' pitching motion
Phelps' pitching motion

Damon Oppenheimer, the scouting director for the New York Yankees, noticed Phelps while on a visit to Notre Dame to scout Kyle Weiland, Phelps' teammate. Based on Oppenheimer's recommendation, the Yankees selected Phelps in the 14th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft.[3] Phelps was named to the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game.[4] In 2011, he played for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.[5] Phelps was named the Yankees minor league pitcher of the year for 2010.[6] He was added to the Yankees 40-man roster after the 2011 season to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.[7]

Phelps made the Yankees' Opening Day roster in 2012.[8] On April 29, 2012, he was moved into the starting rotation to replace the struggling Freddy García. Phelps started 0–0 with a 3.57 ERA in six games before the switch. After making two starts for the Yankees, the team shifted him back to the bullpen when they promoted Andy Pettitte.[9] On June 14, 2012, Phelps was sent down to Triple-A after David Robertson came off from the disabled list (DL).[10] Phelps returned to the team as a starter when Pettitte and CC Sabathia were placed on the DL with injuries.[11]

During a game against the New York Mets on May 29, 2013, Phelps surrendered 5 runs (4 earned) in the first inning and only lasted 13 of an inning. (It was the shortest outing for any Yankees starting pitcher at the new Yankee Stadium.) On July 6, 2013, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list, due to a right forearm strain. On August 15, 2013, Phelps was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. On September 14, 2013 he was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list.[12]

In 2014, Phelps had a 5-5 record with a 4.38 ERA in 113 innings with 92 strikeouts and 42 walks in 32 games, 17 starts.

Miami Marlins

Phelps with the Marlins
Phelps with the Marlins

On December 19, 2014, the Yankees traded Phelps and Martín Prado to the Miami Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones, and Domingo Germán.[13]

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 maintained an ERA of 1.93[14]

Seattle Mariners

On July 20, 2017, the Marlins traded Phelps to the Seattle Mariners for prospects Brayan Hernandez, Brandon Miller, Pablo Lopez, and Lukas Schiraldi.[15] On March 21, 2018, Phelps suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow during spring training, and was out for the entire season, awaiting reconstructive elbow surgery.[16]

Toronto Blue Jays

Phelps signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, on January 12, 2019.[17] While appearing in 17 game appearances, he posted a 3.63 ERA, with no game decisions.

Chicago Cubs

The Blue Jays traded Phelps to the Chicago Cubs on July 30, 2019, in exchange for minor league player Thomas Hatch.[18] Phelps posted a 2-1 record with a 3.18 ERA, in 24 relief appearances.

Milwaukee Brewers

On January 29, 2020, Phelps signed a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.[19] In 12 relief appearances, he posted a 2-3 record with a 2.77 ERA.

Philadelphia Phillies

On August 31, 2020, the Brewers traded Phelps to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Juan Geraldo, Brandon Ramey, and Israel Puello.[20] He struggled to a 12.91 ERA in 10 games for Philadelphia.

Second stint with the Blue Jays

On February 11, 2021, Phelps officially signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.[21][22] On May 15, Phelps was placed on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.[23] On May 25, it was announced that Phelps would miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a “significant” strain in his right lat.[24] In 11 appearances for Toronto in 2021, Phelps recorded a minuscule 0.87 ERA with 15 strikeouts. On November 29, Phelps signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays and was invited to spring training.[25] On April 1, 2022, Phelps has his contract selected to the major league roster.

Pitching style

Phelps throws four pitches. He has a four-seam fastball (90–92), two-seam fastball (89–92), cutter (86–88) and a changeup (82–85). The two-seamer is his primary pitch to left-handed hitters, and his four-seamer is his primary pitch to right-handers. He uses his changeup exclusively against lefties. He likes to use his cutter in 2-strike counts against righties.[26]

Personal life

Phelps is a devout Catholic and frequently attends Mass at St. Patrick's Catholic Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan.[27]

Phelps met his wife, Maria, at Notre Dame when they had to work together on an assignment. They had their first child, a daughter, in 2012,[28] a second daughter in 2013 and his third daughter in 2015.[29]


  1. ^ a b c d e Axisa, Mike (December 22, 2010). "Prospect Profile: David Phelps". Riveraveblues.com. River Avenue Blues. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  2. ^ "2007 Falmouth Commodores". thebaseballcube.com. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  3. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals have perhaps the most talented team in baseball, so logically GM John Mozeliak is in no hurry to get rid of any of it". foxsports.com. Fox Sports. May 20, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  4. ^ Nalborne, John (June 30, 2010). "Thunder to send 4 to All-Star Game – Laird, Romine, Phelps, Pendleton on Eastern squad". NJ.com. Trenton Times. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  5. ^ "David Phelps Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights | Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Stats". web.minorleaguebaseball.com. Minor League Baseball. December 21, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  6. ^ Borden, Sam (February 25, 2011). "Nunez, Phelps pick up organizational honors". yankees.lhblogs.com. LoHud. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  7. ^ DiComo, Anthony (November 18, 2011). "Yankees add five players to 40-man roster". MiLB.com. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  8. ^ Moraitis, Mike (April 4, 2012). "Biggest Surprises from New York Yankees 25-Man Roster for Opening Day 2012". bleacherreport.com. Bleacher Report. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  9. ^ "Phelps to return to bullpen after rotation stint". New York Yankees. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  10. ^ "David Phelps Stats, Fantasy & News". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  11. ^ Carig, Marc (July 4, 2012). "Yankees' David Phelps gets start with Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia sidelined". NJ.com. The Star-Ledger. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
  12. ^ Hoch, Brian (September 14, 2013). "Phelps reinstated from DL to bolster bullpen". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on September 16, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  13. ^ Marchand, Andrew (December 19, 2014). "New York Yankees trade Martin Prado to Miami Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  14. ^ Marcillo, David (June 1, 2016). "Miami Marlins Reliever David Phelps Has Found a Home in the Eighth Inning - Baseball Essential". baseballessential.com. Baseball Essential. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Mariners Acquire RHP David Phelps from Miami". marinersblog.mlblogs.com. Medium. July 20, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  16. ^ Divish, Ryan (March 21, 2018). "Brutal blow for Mariners' bullpen: David Phelps lost for the season with Tommy John surgery". seattletimes.com. The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  17. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (January 12, 2019). "Blue Jays, David Phelps agree on one-year deal". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  18. ^ Gonzales, Mark (July 30, 2019). "Cubs looking to add more after acquiring reliever David Phelps from the Blue Jays". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  19. ^ "Brewers add righty reliever Phelps to bullpen". ESPN.com. ESPN. January 29, 2020. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  20. ^ "Phillies acquire David Phelps from Brewers". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. August 31, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  21. ^ "Blue Jays sign David Phelps". MLB.com. February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  22. ^ Matheson, Keegan (February 11, 2021). "RHP Phelps signs 1-year deal with Blue Jays". MLB.com. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  23. ^ "Major League Baseball Transactions".
  24. ^ "David Phelps Out for Season After Surgery to Repair Lat Strain".
  25. ^ "Toronto Blue Jays on Twitter". Twitter. November 29, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  26. ^ "PITCHf/x Player Card: David Phelps". BrooksBaseball.net. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  27. ^ "Perseverance Pays Off for New York Yankees' Pitcher". ncregister.com. National Catholic Register. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  28. ^ "Yankees Minor League Trio". lohud.com. The Journal News. April 4, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  29. ^ Pinstripe, Suzie (presumed nom de plume) (July 20, 2014). "Exclusive Interview David Phelps". bleedingyankeeblue.blogspot.com. Bleeding Yankee Blue. Retrieved December 19, 2014.