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Yourkin gets Opening Day nod -- as BP pitcher

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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."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["opening_day" ] }
{"event":["opening_day" ] }
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