Rasner, A-Rod, and of course, Joba

A much needed win for the Yankees last night. The notables:

Darrell Rasner: The Raz continues to impress and quite frankly I enjoy being able to say “The Raz.” Is he for real? Well, last night he struck out 6 batters, which is an encouraging sign. He’s already being labeled as this year’s Aaron Small. Well, I’d like to think The Raz is more than a flash in the pan, and I think there are some numbers that support my claim.

  • Looking at Aaron Small’s remarkable 2005 season, he only had one game where he struck out more than 4 batters, which came in a no-decision (ironically enough) early on when he K’d 7. Rasner hasn’t been a strikeout machine, but it’s worth keeping track of.
  • In 2005, Small was 33 years old. Rasner is 27.
  • Using ERA+ (for those of you who don’t know, an ERA+ over 100 is above average, below 100 is, you guessed it, below average), let’s take a look at Small’s stats for every season he pitched more than 15 innings: 62, 104, 78, 50, 132, 53. His 162 game average is 85. That 132 score is obviously 2005. His ERAs: 8.16, 4.28, 5.59, 8.27, 3.20, 8.46. Rasner on the other hand, while in limited sample sizes, has never posted an ERA+ below 102, or an ERA over 4.43 for that matter. There is no reason to think he is not at least an average major league pitcher.

A-Rod: Not much to say about A-Rod, other than “wow.” He totally changes the nature of the Yankees’ lineup.

Joba: Per usual, this should be a non-story. However, after the game when Girardi said they were beginning to transition Joba into a starting role, immediately Michael Kay exclaimed “breaking news!” Now it’s a lead story on ESPN. How is this so difficult for people to understand? From day 1 in spring training the Yankees prepared Joba to be a starter. When they moved him to the bullpen to start the season they said it was just to limit his innings and they would begin stretching him out again after a few months. Now it’s May 22nd and the Yankees have begun doing exactly what they said they were going to do, and it causes surprise and alarm. I just don’t understand.

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