The Yanks lost a rain-shortened contest 6-1 yesterday afternoon, despite the best efforts of rookie Jeffrey Karstens, who allowed just two runs, one on a solo Torii Hunter home run, in seven innings. Today the Yankees throw another rookie to the wolves in Darrell Rasner. Because I'm on my way to the game and on my way out the door, here's what I wrote about Rasner when it was announced he'd start today.
Rasner looked sharp in a lone relief appearance for the Yankees back in that first loss to the Tigers in May, utilizing a nasty curve. He then landed on the 60-day DL with a sore pitching shoulder. After a brief rehab stint in A-ball in which the threw 13 innings across four starts, he was activated and optioned down to Columbus where he started this past Monday, allowing three runs on seven hits over six innings, striking out five and walking none.
Rasner made his only other major league start for the Nationals last year in his major league debut. He ran into trouble in the third inning of that game and got an early hook, but then followed that appearance with 4 2/3 scoreless innings out of the pen in which he allowed just one hit and walked none. Of course that's all tiny sample stuff, but in the minors, the 25-year-old Rasner has shown mid-rotation potential, displaying good control, a solid strikeout rate, and a knack for keeping the ball in the park. A good outing on Sunday could put him in the conversation for next year's rotation.
Opposing Rasner will be 22-year-old Twins rookie Matt Garza, who was drafted out of Frezno State in the first round (25th overall) just last year. Garza has steadily improved across his four big-league starts, though his competition has also been progressively weaker in each one.