Rasner to start on Sunday for Yankees

Darrell Rasner will finally receive the chance he arguably deserved all along as he will be the starting pitcher for the New York Yankees on Sunday.

And if Rasner, a 1999 Carson High graduate, pitches well, he could be with the Yankees for quite a while.

Rasner is taking the spot in the rotation of Phil Hughes, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a rib-cage injury on Wednesday. Rasner will start at Yankee Stadium against the Seattle Mariners at 10 a.m. in a game to be televised by the YES Network.

The Yankees placed Hughes on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique on Wednesday, making the announcement during the club's 6-2 loss to the Tigers. Hughes took a pounding in the Yankees' defeat to the Tigers at Yankee Stadium one day earlier.

Hughes said he first felt the strain, characterized by the club as "mild," after his aborted start on April 24 at Chicago, when he hurled two scoreless innings but did not return following a rain delay. He will be sent for a MRI in New York today.

Hughes was rapped for six runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings on Tuesday by Detroit, after which point he mentioned the injury to the club's training staff. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he did not believe Hughes' performance had been affected since the club's radar gun had him touching 94 mph on Tuesday.

"Physically, he's looked great to me, so I was shocked when I heard it from the trainers," Girardi said.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that the Yankees expect Hughes' recovery to take more than 15 days, with a Minor League rehabilitation assignment necessary at some point. That means Rasner should stay up with the Yankees for a while as long as he pitches well. Hughes was 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA in six starts this month.

Cashman said that Rasner earned Sunday's start by going 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA. Rasner was named the International League's pitcher of the week for the period of April 21-27.

"The guy who's pitching the best down there is Darrell Rasner, so that's the guy we're going to tap," Cashman said.

Until Rasner pitches on Sunday, the Yankees have brought up Chris Britton to fill Hughes' spot in the meantime. Rasner will also have to be added to the Yankees 40-man roster for his start on Sunday. It's likely that the Yankees will move pitcher Brian Bruney from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Rasner.

Rasner was in Spring Training with New York as a non-roster invitee and narrowly missed making the Opening Day roster as a long reliever.


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