One rough start wasn't enough to keep Darrell Rasner from making the New York Yankees opening day roster. And one solid bullpen session was enough to seal the deal.
Rasner, a 1999 Carson High graduate, was placed on the Yankees' 25-man roster on Friday. He'll be traveling with the team for opening day when it hosts the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Yankee Stadium.
"It's going to be an honor," Rasner said. "You don't get a grander scale than Yankee Stadium opening day. I'm just really excited about it."
The right-handed pitcher is scheduled to start when the Yankees host the Balitmore Orioles on Sunday, April 8. But Rasner is also serving as the Yankees' long reliever and will be available to pitch before then.
He'll be available to pitch on Monday in long relief if opening day starter Carl Pavano falters. He'll also be available to fill the same role on Wednesday. The Yankees will be off on Tuesday.
It's likely if Rasner is needed on Wednesday, he would be able to pitch up to about four innings. In that scenario, there would be no problem with Rasner coming back on three days rest for his start on Sunday.
"They're pretty good at monitoring things," said Rasner on how the Yankees could use him. "I'll do whatever they're going to ask me to do. I'm available for relief. Whatever they want me to do."
As the No. 5 starter, Rasner's scheduled start against the Orioles may be the only one he sees for a while as the Yankees will need Rasner to start just once in their first 17 games. Rasner had been having an outstanding spring training, allowing just two earned runs in his first 12 innings. But this past Wednesday, Rasner allowed seven runs in 4.2 innings in his start against the Houston Astros.
But Rasner looked much better in a bullpen session on Friday and that was enough to convince manager Joe Torre to place him on the 25-man roster.
"I threw very well," said Rasner about his bullpen session. "I definitely got some mechanical things worked out. I'm definitely looking forward to my next outing."
"It was just one of those games," Rasner also said about his outing against the Astros. "As long as you learn from it there's nothing lost."
Other than the outing against the Astros, Rasner was pleased with his spring. "I felt like always I improved," he said. "I felt I got stronger every outing. I've been able to throw my pitches for strikes.
"I feel like I showed what I can do. They've seen enough to not judge me on one outing."
Rasner also isn't worried about how long he'll stay with the Yankees. One of the pitchers Rasner was competing with, Jeff Karstens, will be placed on the disabled list with an elbow injury and it's expected he'll be placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to last Sunday.
"My goal is to go out there and stay consistent," Rasner said. "Where I end up, I end up. I'll do my best to stay and work hard every day."