Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Waiver Wired: Add Rasner, Jurrjens


Darrell Rasner, SP, Yankees

It's been a long road back for the Yankees righty.

Rasner, making his fifth start on May 19 last year, tried to stop an Endy Chavez comebacker up the mound and it breaks his throwing hand and ends his season (he's pictured above, picking up Chavez's ball).

Rasner had been on a roll, lowering his ERA from 10.38 after his debut bombing to 3.28 and now this.

But almost a full season later, Rasner is back.

Injuries and ineffectiveness from Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy have opened a spot on baseball's biggest stage and Rasner responded on Sunday with 6 strong innings against the Mariners, giving up 2 ER, 5 hits and 0 BB. He struck out 4.

“Just try to run with this opportunity,” Rasner said. “I think I’m finally getting back in the groove.”

The question for fantasy owners is, should you take a run on Rasner's opportunity? If you look at what Rasner was doing in AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre, it seems like a no-brainer. Through 33 IP, Rasner had a 0.87 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP, striking out 27.

But that was Scranton. This is Yankee Stadium.

The question really should be, can Rasner handle the big stage? His minor league numbers are solid but don't blow you away: 3.41 ERA/1.28 WHIP with a 6.78/9 K rate. Rasner, however, is not just a pup. The 27-year-old was drafted by the Expos in 2002 and has been pitching in at least AA since 2004 (shoulder issues sidelined him for most of 2006).

Rasner doesn't project to be a frontline starter, but he could be a quality source of wins and not kill your ERA/WHIP (though don't expect an abundance of Ks). Hughes is out until July, and Kennedy's been demoted. If Rasner performs, he'll stick in what has become a decimated back end of the Yankees rotation.

He's definitely worth a shot in most shallow formats. And if you have a Kevin Millwood or Kenny Rogers hanging around in that last pitching spot, take a gamble on Rasner's upside.


Jair Jurrjens, SP, Braves

At 22 years, Jurrjens seems like just a pup. But the Netherlands native has been pitching in the Tigers organization since 2003 and has 500 minor league IP under his belt.

What makes Jurrjens worth a roster spot in almost every format is his control. His 2.17/9 BB rate and career 1.19 WHIP show you that his command is for real. In 7 starts with the Tigers last year, Jurrjens had a few rough outings but finished with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.

The Atlanta organization, always on the prowl for frontline pitching - especially those with Maddux-like control -- scooped up Jurrjens in the offseason in the Edgar Renteria deal. All Jurrjens has done is go 4-2 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with 36 Ks in 44 IP.

And with John Smoltz heading back to the bullpen and Mike Hampton eternally injured, the Braves are mighty glad they pushed the button on that trade.

If Jurrjens is still hanging around your wire, it's time to push the same button.


Anonymous said...

Michael Scott saw Rasner pitch for Scranton and said he has a great curve.

That's what she said.