Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rasner Win Overshadowed by Joba News

Let's get one thing straight, Darrel Rasner pitched one heck of a game last night. 7.0 innings of work, 6 strikeouts and only 1 walk with 0 runs. You can't ask for anything more from a starting pitcher. It's something no other Yankee pitcher has come close to in their recent starts. For a guy called up in the middle of the season, Rasner is doing a commendable job. It wasn't a flawless performance, as Rasner got himself in trouble once or twice, but just as quickly he got out of the jam without giving up a run.

I like what I see from Darrel. I'm not putting him down as the next Cy Young winner, but I think he could prove a reliable back end guy. If he could pitch like he did last night all of the time, he'd be the ace on someone's rotation, but not all of the games will go as smoothly as what we just saw.

The big news generated after the game was Joe Girardi's comments about Joba Chamberlain stating that the process had begun and that the Yankees were beginning to stretch out Joba's innings to prepare him for a starting role. More news has been coming out from various sources that Cashman had talked with Joba and the young star confirmed that he's mentally ready and wants to give starting a try. That is the most important part of the equation for me. I was getting worried that Joba would become too comfortable in his set-up role and might not look favorably on the move to the rotation which would subconsciously kill any real chance of him ever succeeding in that role. The fact that Chamberlain thinks he's ready is a good sign. It's also a good sign that the Yankees still have some baseball sense about them and realize what a tragic mistake it would be if they didn't give him a shot as a starter.

On the other side of the ball, Alex Rodriguez was on fire. Officially he had 3 hits including 1 home run and 2 RBIs, but anyone watching on TV saw the replay clearly indicating that one hit ruled a double was clearly a home run. There was no doubt about it in anyone's mind and it will again cause a bit of talk about the idea of instant replay in baseball. A-Rod looked good at the plate and seemed to run well also, hustling out plays and going near full speed. Even in his absence, the Yankee hitters should have been producing more runs and playing better than they had. I'm not buying the lack of A-Rod as a valid excuse for their previous struggles. Having A-Rod back, having a guy who starts making contact and hitting the ball can provide a spark that jump starts some of the other players.

Lastly I want to comment on another guy who's doing an outstanding job, Chad Moeller. Moeller seems to be doing an excellent job of reading his pitchers and hitters. He's made some nice defensive plays and has been hitting decently. Last night he went 2 for 5 and brought his average up to .262. Despite being placed on waivers earlier in the season, Chad indicated he would be happy to remain with the organization even in the minors. When he was called back up he continued to perform well. This guy has done all that you could ask and more. I don't know what his future with the Yankees will be, considering you've got Posada, Molina and Cervelli, but he certainly has served the team well.

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