Rasner adjusting to the minors | NevadaAppeal.com

Rasner adjusting to the minors

Charles Whisnand column

While Carson High graduate Darrell Rasner may be finding out that the “glamorous” life of professional baseball isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, the former University of Nevada standout is making the adjustment to his new career.

While visiting family in Connecticut, Carson City resident Whit McGuinness received an inside glimpse of what it’s like to be a minor league baseball player from Rasner.

McGuinness watched Rasner pitch on Sunday for the Vermont Expos, the Montreal Expos lower class A affiliate. Rasner left the game after five innings with a 5-2 lead.

Rasner has started three games so far and has a 5.23 earned run average. But take away one inning in which he allowed four runs and Rasner has been solid so far for Vermont. He has 11 strikeouts in 10.1 innings.

In each outing, Rasner has been on a pitch count, which has gradually increased with each start. He threw 62 pitches in Sunday’s start.

McGuinness said Rasner told him he will likely not throw more than 70 pitches in a game this season for Vermont. Rasner told McGuinness because he’s making the adjustment from the University of Nevada to minor league baseball, Vermont is limiting the number of pitches he will throw.

Rasner told McGuinness that 100 pitches is the most that any pitcher will throw at his level.

One difficult adjustment that Rasner has made, McGuinness said, is throwing on the side every day.

But Rasner also told McGuinness what he likes most about being a professional is that Vermont is treating him like a man. “He’s not constantly baby sat,” McGuinness said.

During an off day this past week, Rasner and the Vermont players received the chance to travel to Montreal to watch the Expos, which Rasner was really looking forward to, McGuinness said.

Rasner told McGuinness another difficult adjustment that he’s had to make is the travel as the Vermont team takes bus rides as far away as Ohio. “Most of the food has been awful,” Rasner told McGuinness.

Another adjustment that Rasner is having to make is the East Coast humidity.

“It’s one of those things Darrell’s getting used to,” McGuinness said.

Rasner is also learning to speak Spanish to communicate with many of his teammates. “He’s learning Spanish because half of the team is Dominican,” McGuinness said.

Through weight training, Rasner has also gotten bigger and now weighs 220 to 225 pounds, McGuinness said.

It’s planned for Rasner to pitch in the Arizona Fall League for top prospects. But with the contraction issue still hanging over the Expos and the franchise’s future up in the air, Rasner told McGuinness it’s unknown if he’ll pitch in the Arizona Fall League.

McGuinness said Rasner told him that winter ball is also an option. But McGuinness said Rasner would rather use the winter to train and lift weights in preparation for the upcoming season.

GRASS ROOTS VOLLEYBALL

A popular, but not as well known sport is outdoor grass volleyball, which had its national championships last weekend. The United States Volleyball Association’s National Park Volley Championships, formerly known as the national grass court volleyball championships, was held at Reed High.

Northern Nevada and the Carson City area was well-represented at the event and 1986 Carson High graduate Danielle Foerschler came away as a national champion. Among other local players who did well was Carson City’s Mark Johnson, who placed second in the men’s open doubles division.

With her partner, Reno’s Leslie Wood, Foerschler won the women’s double A title, the second toughest division.

Foerschler has played outdoor grass volleyball since 1991 and has been Wood’s partner for eight years.

“There’s a lot more court to cover and you have to have good communication with your partner,” said Foerschler, who lives in Reno and works for Carson City’s Northern Nevada Title. “It takes a long time to build a partnership.”

Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor.