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Yankees Demote Struggling Garcia To Bullpen

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Struggling Yankees starter Freddy Garcia has pitched his way out of the Yankees' rotation.

Garcia will be shifted to a relief role Sunday, a day after he gave up six runs to the Detroit Tigers in 1 and 2/3 innings pitched in Saturday's outing.

The horrendous start boosted Garcia's ERA to an unsightly 12.51.

Sitting in front of his locker in a near empty clubhouse, Garcia shrugged his shoulders and fidgeted in his chair, clearly exasperated with his situation.

I'm not surprised," Garcia said. "You play here in New York, they expect to pitch good. ... It's not like they wait for you to be good."

Garcia was rewarded with a $4 million, one-year contract after going 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA last season for New York, Garcia has been the worst of a shaky rotation that was thought to be a strength for the Yankees heading into the season.

The Yankees' rotation needs help right away.  Through Saturday their starters, have a 6.37 ERA which ranks 29th in majors, according to STATS LLC. Minnesota is the only team that's worse with a 7.01 ERA

Manager Joe Girardi said rookie David Phelps is a likely candidate to make a start if a move was made. Phelps said he hasn't yet been told anything by Girardi.

"I'm the one that's been built up to throw some innings," Phelps said.

Girardi spoke to reporters about Phelps, "There's nothing that tells me he can't be a major league starter."

Through 17.2 innings pitched, Phelps has a 3.57 ERA this season with a .200 batting average against.

Andy Pettitte will make a start for Class A Tampa and may need one or two more starts before he is ready join the rotation.

To help the taxed bullpen, the Yankees called up right-hander D.J. Mitchell from Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre and optioned Cody Eppley to their top minor league club. Eppley and Phelps each pitched three innings Saturday.

Is Phelps ready or do the Yankees need Pettitte now? Share your thoughts below...

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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