An Interview with Darrell Rasner

IIATMS: How early did you realize you have the ‘stuff’ to become a major league pitcher?
Darrell Rasner: High school. I realized that it was what I wanted to do for a living, and that I probably had a fighting chance.

IIATMS: Are you a fan of the game, of its history? Casual or intense?
DR: I love the history of the game. I like looking over stats of old hall-of-famers and watching film of all of the greats of the game.

IIATMS: You were waived by the Nationals in 2006. Was there ever a time you doubted your ability to pitch in the majors?
DR: Never. It was definitely a bump in the road, and I really was caught off guard. When the Yankees claimed me, it just reinforced that the best of the best thought that I could help them win. It was a real validation for me.

IIATMS: What was it like stepping on the field as a major leaguer for the first time?…

Read more

Down on the farm

Jennings has a ton on some of the likely bullpen help the big club can look towards to rescue the leaky bullpen. To wit:

David Robertson: “Hard not to be impressed by Robertson, who now has 48 strikeouts in 33 innings. Eleven of his 16 walks came last month. I forgot to mention earlier, so I’ll mention here that I asked Mark Newman today if the Yankees had any plans to let Robertson go back to throwing the slider he used in college. Newman didn’t rule it out, but said Robertson’s fastball moves so much that the slider seems redundant. They like having him work with that big curveball, and the curveball has obviously been working.”

Mark Melancon: “Mark Newman understands the desire to see Mark Melancon in big league pinstripes, but player development is a game of patience, and Newman is willing to wait. With a 1.57 ERA through 11 Double-A games, Melancon has fans calmoring for a call-up, but Newman is happy to leave the right-hander where he is.

Read more

Endangered Species: The Complete Game

Back to the Brewers and Ben Sheets, who had his third CG on Monday.

Sheets has thrown 16 complete games in his career and said he steps onto the mound every time out expecting to pitch all nine innings. He knows not every pitch[er] has the same outlook.

I’m not saying anything new, everybody knows the reason — you’re not brought up that way,” Sheets said. “In the Minors, pitch count is such a big thing. For the complete game, you have to trust enough to get your pitch count up somewhere around 115, 120.

“I think some people leave some of their better innings on the bench. Some guys are in really good grooves through seven, and get taken out when they could probably get through two more fairly easily. It no fault of anybody’s; it’s just baseball.”

It’s just baseball? No, it’s just baseball’s fault.

I’ve been lobbying for longer than I have had a blog that pitch counts have become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Read more