Phelps to start first Grapefruit League game

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees have decided on their starters for the first two games of the Grapefruit League schedule, sending right-handers David Phelps and Adam Warren to the mound.

Phelps will be on the hill for the Yanks' first game on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., while Warren will pitch New York's home opener on Sunday against the Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

As preparation, both pitchers threw two-inning simulated games on Tuesday morning, shedding the protective L-screen as they pitched to Minor League hitters Cito Culver, Addison Maruszak, Corban Joseph and Ronnier Mustelier.

Phelps narrowly escaped a scary moment when Mustelier laced a hot liner back up the middle, forcing Phelps to twist out of the way as the ball slammed into a net placed behind the mound.

"I heard it. I didn't see it," Phelps said. "Robbie [Cano] probably would have had it."

Phelps added a positive scouting report on Mustelier, who hit a combined .314 with 15 homers and 69 RBIs in 114 games for Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year.

"He's a good hitter," Phelps said. "He can swing it."