Yankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Monday, March 26th, 2007 at 8:24 pm and is filed under Baseball, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

At this time last week, observers were wondering if rookie pitcher Jeff Karstens had a legitimate shot at making the Yankees’ rotation over 40-million-dollar man Kei Igawa. While the prospect seemed unlikely at the time, Karstens quickly saw his window of opportunity open as first Andy Pettitte was slowed by back spasms, and then Chien-Ming Wang was felled by a hamstring pull.

However just as quickly as that window was opened for Karstens, it now appears to have shut, as Karstens was removed from his start against Detroit due to right elbow stiffness. The pitcher gave up six runs through two innings before exiting the game.

Darrell Rasner now becomes the most likely candidate for the Yanks’ fifth starter on opening day. Rasner, 26, has allowed two earned runs in 12 innings this spring. Fortunately, the team will only require a fifth starter once in their first 17 games.

Ironically, with the injuries to Wang and Pettite, Carl Pavano appears most likely to take the mound for the Yanks on opening day against Tampa Bay on April 2nd. Pitcher Mike Mussina is not currently lined up to pitch that day. For Pavano, the assignment offers the injury-plagued pitcher a jumpstart on his shot at redemption.

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