- He IS NOT Aaron Small. Small was 33 and with his 11th organization when he ran off 10 wins in a row. Also, Small was a mediocre minor league while Rasner has been a pretty good one (career minor league era for Rasner is 3.41)
- Rasner has not failed in his brief major league career. He has a 4.13 era in 52 innings, decent enough.
- He doesn't walk people - 2.41 BB/9 in the minors
- He keeps the ball in the park - 0.53 hr/9
- He is not a strikeout pitcher - 6.78 k/9
- He was released by the Nationals
Also, he was ranked as the 15th best prospect in the Nationals organization in 2006 and here is what BA had to say about him;
Rasner impressed the Nationals with his composure and maturity in major league spring training, then put up another solid, consistent performance in his first full Double A season to earn a September call up. Command is his forte, as he doesn't walk many batters and does a good job with his pitches. He has a clean arm action and compact, repeatable delivery. Though he still lacks a legitimate out pitch, Rasner works off his heavy 86-91 mph sinker. He threw a slider in college at nevada, abandoned in the second half of last year. It became a better pitch for him than his inconsistent curve and change up. Rasner still gives up too many hits and doesn't miss enough bats to be a top starter, but he could be ready for a No. 5 Starter job or long relief role for Washington in 2006.
So he seems to be a guy who could be forever over looked due to his lack of stuff and inability to strike a lot of batters out. However, you could see a pitcher with his makeup turning into an effective major league starter if given the chance. Players like Rasner are typically let go when there is a number crunch on the 40-man roster because their ceilings are so low (he would top at at best as a 3 or 4). However, his continued consistent success even at the major league level should warrant a longer look somewhere.
I expect Rasner to do an OK job, just like he did last year. I actually was there for his start against the Indians last year (the A rod grand slam game!) and he was economical and efficient kind of like a poor man's Wang. He could be a very valuable spot starter and long man in the Yankee pen. Don't be surprised if his strike throwing ability keeps him here for the long haul.