Rasner reflects on his debut
September 7, 2005
It would be easy for a 24-year-old pitcher who struggled in his Major League debut in the middle of a playoff race to lose his perspective. But throughout his career – in high school, college and the minor leagues – 1999 Carson High graduate Darrell Rasner has always been able to maintain his perspective.
So it should come as no surprise the day after his Major League debut that Rasner had the perspective that he’s always been able to maintain. He was obviously disappointed in how his debut went, but still was able to see it as a positive experience.
Rasner made his Major League debut on Tuesday at RFK Stadium, starting on the mound for the Washington Nationals against the Florida Marlins in a game between two teams who are battling for the National League’s wild card spot. Rasner didn’t allow a hit in the first two innings, but couldn’t make it out of the third. He allowed three runs over 2.2 innings and took the loss in a 4-2 defeat to the Marlins.
In the third, the right-handed Rasner, struggled with his command and lost the effectiveness with his curveball.
“I got some pitches up,” Rasner said on Wednesday. “Any level they’re going to hit the pitches up. I didn’t control the breaking ball very well.”
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Rasner’s struggles could be blamed on rustiness as he was making his first start in eight days. Rasner was called up from Double A Harrisburg where he compiled a 6-7 record with a 3.59 earned run average this season.
In his last start with Harrisburg, Rasner pitched four scoreless innings, but was pulled out of the game. It was then that Rasner started seeing the handwriting on the wall and began hearing rumors that he was going to be called up. “They shut me down after the fourth,” he said.
But the Nationals didn’t call up Rasner right away and he was pitching for the first time in eight days after only throwing eight innings.
“I think that had something to do with it,” said Rasner about the long layoff affecting his command.
Rasner, though, wouldn’t use that as an excuse. “I still have to get the ball down,” he said.
He also said he didn’t look at Tuesday’s start any differently from the starts he has made at CHS, the University of Nevada or the minor leagues.
“It’s a little different but it’s what I’ve done my whole life,” Rasner said. “It’s really no different.”
But Rasner did admit taking the mound in his Major League debut “was awesome, though.”
He also said he felt he was ready to make the jump from Double A to the Major Leagues.
Rasner also learned just how low his status is as he has been forced to share a locker with another pitcher, Travis Hughes, who was recently called up from Triple A New Orleans as well.
“That’s what’s going on right now,” Rasner said. “But to be honest with you, I could care less.
“I’m just enjoying every day. I’m just here right now and I want to learn as much as I can.”
Rasner said he has no idea what the National plan on doing with him or how or if they will use him the rest of the season. Since the minor league season is over, it’s likely that the Nationals will keep Rasner up for at least the rest of the year. But since he was called up after Sept. 1, Rasner is not eligible for the postseason if the Nationals make it to the playoffs.
But being called up has significantly improved his financial status. He’s now making the equivalent of the Major League minimum salary and even if he’s sent back down, his minor league base salary will be considerably more than what it was before. But Rasner said he doesn’t care about all that, adding he still looks at baseball as a game and it’s hard for him to look at it in financial terms.
He also said he’s ready to be used in any role the Nationals want to use him in. “Any day, every day, whatever they want from me, I’ll do,” Rasner said.
“I’m looking forward to the next outing I get. I’m going to do everything I can in my power to stay here.”
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