Darrell Rasner was invited to spring training and given a locker in the same row as Mariano Rivera and Chien-Ming Wang.
But that was a mirage. Rasner has almost no chance of making the team. The Yankees were committed to Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. Rasner, Jeff Karstens and Chase Wright were part of a group that had been passed by in favor of the former first-round picks.
But now Hughes is injured, Kennedy has been ineffective and Chamberlain is still limited to the bullpen. The Yankees needed Rasner today and he delivered, allowing two runs over six innings in an 8-2 thrashing of the Mariners.
The Yankees were 2-10 in the games Hughes and Kennedy pitched in. It was only one game, but Rasner gave them what they needed and will stay in the rotation.
Hold on tight, but Kei Igawa is going to get a chance, too. The $46 million Japanese bust will probably get a start next weekend in Detroit. He tuned up today by allowing four runs over seven innings against Durham. He walked four and struck out eight.
As for Kennedy, he said he was surprised by his demotion to Scranton. Then a few minutes later, he said this:
“I just feel like I was making progress. But I know that I don’t have as much confidence as I had last September.”
If a pitcher lacks confidence, he doesn’t belong in the rotation. The time away from New York should be good for IPK. For whatever reason, he lost the will to challenge hitters that he showed last season.
That’s three in a row for the Yankees. They get tomorrow off then the homestand continues with three games against Cleveland.