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Yankees ship Igawa to minors, make room for DeSalvo

5/7/2007 - MLB Kei Igawa New York Yankees + more

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees shipped struggling pitcher
Kei Igawa to the minors on Monday to make room on the roster for
right-hander Matt DeSalvo.

Igawa was optioned to Class-A Tampa, keeping right-hander
Darrell Rasner in the big leagues after he pitched 5 2/3 shutout
innings Sunday in a victory over the Seattle Mariners. New York had
planned to send Rasner right back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
after his start, but changed course on Monday.

Rasner, 1-1 with a 2.75 ERA in four starts, is likely to get the
ball again Friday night in Seattle.

The Yankees spent $46 million to bring Igawa over from Japan in
the offseason and expected him to fill a spot at the back of their
rotation. He has largely been a disappointment, going 2-1 with a
7.63 ERA in six games, including five starts. The 27-year-old
left-hander has allowed eight homers and 14 walks in 30 2/3
innings.

"There's some things he's got to fix, mechanically, we
believe," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "He's got major league ability, we have
no doubt about that. We've seen it in three games. But we haven't
seen it consistently."

Igawa will work to rectify his delivery with Nardi Contreras,
the club's pitching coordinator in Tampa, Fla.

"I want to emphasize on basics," Igawa said through a
translator. "I knew with the Yankees if you don't show the results
up here in the major leagues, the Yankees demote you to the minors.
I knew that before I signed."

Igawa acknowledged his transition to the big leagues has been
difficult.

"It's not only baseball, my lifestyle has changed completely.
The rotation, the number of days in between pitching has changed
completely," he said. "It's everything, so I'm going to make sure
when I go down to the minors I'll [figure] out the best way to
adjust and get back."

DeSalvo started Monday night against the Mariners in
his major league debut, making the injury-ravaged Yankees the first
team in major league history to use 10 starting pitchers in its
first 30 games. The 26-year-old right-hander was 3-0 with a 1.05
ERA at Triple-A this season.