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Yankees Vs. Rangers: Brian Gordon Makes An Unlikely Start

Brian Gordon will be the starting pitcher today when the New York Yankees host the Texas Rangers (1:05 p.m.) at Yankee Stadium in the finale of a three-game series. Who the heck is Brian Gordon? If you haven't heard, Gordon is a 32-year-old converted outfielder who was with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in the Philadelphia Phillies organization until Wednesday when he opted out of his contract and was signed by New York.

Gordon has all of four innings of major-league experience, spread over three appearances with Texas back in 2008.

Jack Curry of the YES Network had a nice piece on Gordon Wednesday, describing a minor-league journey that begin in 1997 and did not see the former outfielder convert to pitching until 2007, when he was already 28 years old.

"This has been very emotional for me," Gordon told Curry. "I’m really looking forward to helping the Yankees. It feels funny to even say that, that I’m a Yankee. It’s a special moment."

Gordon has a career minor-league pitching record of 25-13 with a 3.09 ERA. He had a 5-0 record and 1.14 ERA for Lehigh Valley (AAA) this season.

As a hitter, Gordon hit 119 minor-league home runs and compiled a .275 batting average in 1,206 games.

The Yankees really have no idea what to expect from Gordon. They hope, of course, that he will morph into the next Aaron Small. Recall that Small, a journeyman who seemed to be at the end of his career and out of big-league chances, came to the pitching-desperate Yankees in 2005 at the age of 33. He had won just 13 big-league games and had not earned a big-league victory in seven season, but proceeded to have a magical 10-0 run with the Yankees.

Can Gordon do something like that? Who knows? The fact that he has gotten an opportunity, though, after taking a long and unusual path to the big leagues, makes this afternoon's game at Yankee Stadium a special one.

Current Series

Yankees lead the series 2-0

Tue 06/14 WP: CC Sabathia (8 - 4)
LP: Alexi Ogando (7 - 1)
12 - 4 win
Wed 06/15 WP: Ivan Nova (6 - 4)
LP: Derek Holland (5 - 2)
12 - 4 win

Texas Rangers
@ New York Yankees

Thursday, Jun 16, 2011, 1:05 PM EDT
Yankee Stadium

C.J. Wilson vs Brian Gordon

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to left field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.


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