Yourkin gets Opening Day nod -- as BP pitcher
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Yourkin has realized his dream of pitching for the Giants, though his wish was granted with a twist.
Needing a left-handed batting-practice pitcher, the Giants filled that vacancy with Yourkin, who spent the last four of his nine professional seasons in their Minor League system. John Yandle, previously the Giants' left-handed BP hurler, is recovering from an arm injury.
"I'm nervous," said the 31-year-old Yourkin, who never pitched in the Majors. "It's my first real Opening Day. I think I'll be OK."
Yourkin, a Napa native who grew up rooting for the Giants, hopes to use this experience to pave the way to a coaching job.
"The opportunity is great for me," he said Monday.
Having compiled a 35-41 record with a 4.54 ERA in 362 career appearances, Yourkin flashed some self-deprecating humor. Observing that he should adjust easily to his new role, he jokingly said, "I got hit around in my career."