The Toronto Blue Jays desperately need some fresh talent to turn around the mediocrity that’s been happening since 1995. The Jays are hoping that Rob Rasmussen can be part of the transformation in the very near future as none of the core starters are exactly making it rain in the professional ranks.
Rasmussen, a 24-year-old lefty from Pasadena, Cali., was originally drafted in the 27th round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He declined and went on to pitch for the UCLA Bruins where he had a successful career earning a trip in the 2010 College World Series. Following the season, Rasmussen was drafted by the Florida Marlins (err Miami Marlins now?) in the second round.
Rasmussen has had a bit of a turbulent professional career so far, changing teams five times in three years. Florida sent him to the Marlins midway through the 2012 season. In December, he was traded to the Dodgers. From there, he went to the Philadelphia Phillies in August 2013, and then finally to the Blue Jays at the end of 2013. That sounds like fun times.
From a performance and effectiveness standpoint Rasmussen is solid on the bump (if you discount his 10 starts last season at AAA, that is), posting a career 3.95 ERA. His most effective season came last year at AA Chattanooga where he boasted a 2.55 ERA across 14 starts. His SO/9 numbers were the highest of his career at 8.4 and his walks are down. He has a reported four pitch repertoire which he uses quite effectively, though his efficiency needs some work. As for his ten starts at AAA Albuquerque last season, it produced some pretty unpleasant statistics — an ERA north of 6.40, a WHIP of 1.77 and an 0-7 record. That’s not the type of impressive debut he had in mind I’m sure.
Rasmussen is on the team’s 40-man roster, so he will get a chance to perform at Spring Training. He will likely start the season at AAA and, with great performance, could see a spot start or two as the season drags on or if injuries occur.
Vinny Gala is a baseball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @VinnyGala