NEWEST YANKEE STARTER NOTCHES A WIN IN HIS 2008 DEBUT WITH THE CLUB • Latino Sports

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NEWEST YANKEE STARTER NOTCHES A WIN IN HIS 2008 DEBUT WITH THE CLUB

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Howard Golding says, "The placement of Phil Hughes on the disabled list and the demotion of Ian Kennedy to AAA Scranton have created openings in the Yankees starting rotation."

YANKEE STADIUM–The placement of Phil Hughes on the disabled list and the demotion of Ian Kennedy to AAA Scranton have created openings in the Yankees starting rotation. Twenty-seven year-old Darrell Rasner was recalled from the Yankees' AAA affiliate Scranton to start Sunday's game against the Mariners. Rasner, one of the less heralded young hurlers in the Yankees system, missed most of last season with a fractured right index finger. After Sunday's win, Rasner explained his preference for having a low profile, "I like flying under the radar."

 

The Yankees' brass did notice his minor league performance this season. The young righty was 4-0 with a minuscule 0.87 ERA after five starts. His most recent minor league start was a 2-1 win over Syracuse on April 27. Yankee manager Joe Girardi believes his work with Scranton this year was very beneficial to the young pitcher, "He got sharper down there, a little bit more mature, a little more experienced." The effects of his injury in 2007 adversely affected his showing during Spring Training. Girardi commented, "We didn't see the real Darrell Rasner during Spring Training." Rasner agreed with his manager's contention, "It's huge [the experience in Scranton]. I didn't play Winter Ball. I think I'm finally getting back in the groove."

Rasner looked shaky during the first inning of Sunday's game. He gave up a two-tun homer to Adrian Beltre in the first inning with two out. Girardi said, "Everyone's excited in their first day, their first inning of the year." Catcher Chad Moeller had the same assessment of that inning, but saw the pitcher overcome his initial nervousness, "The first inning, it just looked like he was trying to get comfortable out there…He got out of it, and after that, I could see the difference. He was really starting to roll as the game went on. He was right where he wanted to be. He threw a lot of strikes, worked quickly, kept the defense on its toes, and avoided the dreaded walk." Rasner was not in trouble again after the first inning. He went six before being removed by the Yankees manager. Girardi acted because he intended to give more work to his relievers, "The upcoming suspension hearing is why I used Farnsworth today." If Farnsworth receives a three-day suspension, he could not pitch again until Friday. Mariano Rivera was used in the rare non-save situation because Monday was an off-day.

The win for Rasner was his first in the majors for nearly a year, May 6, 2007. The 2007 season ended early for him after his right index finger was fractured on May 19 in a game against the Mets. His only other action on the mound last year was in rehab starts in the minor leagues late in the summer. Rasner is looking forward to his next start for the Yankees, which is scheduled for either Friday or Saturday. He explained his optimism, "i wanted to go out every five days and pitch well. I knew I'd have an opportunity to pitch. It was a beautiful thing getting back on that mound and and getting to contribute. it was worth it."

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