Preparing to face Kyle Drabek

His father made his first-ever Major League start in Baltimore and Kyle Drabek will do the same tonight, pitching for Toronto vs. the Orioles.

After pitching four times in relief, former Cy Young winner Doug Drabek, who was an Oriole himself in 1998, made his first career start for the Yankees at Memorial Stadium on June 15, 1986. This will be the younger Drabek's Major League debut.

The 22-year-old Drabek was the Eastern League pitcher of the year this season, going 14-9, 2.94 over 27 starts for New Hampshire. He led the league in wins and was 3rd in ERA and strikeouts with a 1.59 ground to air out ratio. He tied for first in the league with a .215 batting average against.

Luke Scott said he has checked out a scouting report or two on Drabek and would watch some video on him before tonight's game.

"You kind of look at him as the game goes along. Check his velocity out, check out his secondary pitches. See how he will try to attack lefties. That's about all you can do and have a plan where I'll look in a certain zone or for a certain pitch.

"We'll look at his pitches. Just from the reports, I know he has a good curveball. That's a key secondary pitch for him. I imagine a guy with a good curveball, that could be his out pitch and he's going to try and bounce it (at times)."

Drabek was the Phillies first-round pick, taken 18th overall in 2006 and was dealt to Toronto in the Roy Halladay deal last December.

Manager Buck Showalter expected his hitters to at least become a little familiar with Drabek.

"Mike (Stashik) our video guy scrambled real good today and pulled up some Drabek tape. You'll be impressed tonight. This is a kid with really good stuff. He gets through the first inning or two emotionally, you'll get to see a pretty good pitcher.

"He's got a four-pitch mix with good stuff. You want to see if his command will be an issue early. His walks at Double-A were very manageable for him."

On the fourth of July this season, Drabek pitched a no-hitter vs. New Britain with two walks and three strikeouts. Over his last 12 starts, he went 7-2, 2.11 for the Fisher Cats.

In his most recent game, he lost 2-0 vs. Trenton in the playoffs last Wednesday, allowing one run over six innings.

When hitters are seeing a pitcher for the first time, should they look to take more pitches early in the game?

"Depends who you are talking about. I've got a couple I wouldn't lay money on that one. If he leads Luke off with a heater, I can tell you what's going to happen. He's going to swing hard," Showalter said.

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