Why Rays’ Drew Rasmussen will slow down this spring

DUNEDIN — Drew Rasmussen was not going to risk a pitching clock violation. The Rays’ breakout pitching star of 2022 decided before his first spring start Friday that he would work as fast as he could initially, then learn how to manage the clock from there.

“I think it’d be easier to go as fast as possible and know that you have the ability to slow down as opposed to using as much of the clock as possible and then having to speed up as spring goes on,” Rasmussen said of the new pitch timer. “I think with the clock I can work a little bit slower.

“The times I checked over there, I felt like I always saw like seven or eight seconds still on it. But it’s a good thing to know that I can work at a pace where there’s still plenty of time to work with.”

Pitchers have 15 seconds between pitches to start their delivery and 20 with a runner on base this season.

Rasmussen allowed three runs, all earned, on three hits Friday. He walked two and struck out two in 1 2/3 innings in the 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays at TD Ballpark. The right-hander threw 38 pitches, 24 for strikes.

“Execution needs to be cleaned up a little bit,” Rasmussen said, “but the stuff felt like it was where it should be.”

One and done

Jason Adam threw a scoreless inning Friday, his first appearance of spring training — and his last. The right-hander, who struck out one and hit a batter, now will join Team USA for the World Baseball Classic in Phoenix.

“He looks good. Good to see him pitch and that’ll be his last time we see him; he’ll be pitching for team USA,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Excited to see that when that comes around.”

Vidal Brujan stung

Vidal Brujan was hit in his shoulder area by a pitch in the fourth inning, but he ran the bases. Cash said he could have returned, but he decided to let him rest.

“He’s fine. I took him out, but he was fine to go out. We just had that long inning and we had enough time,” Cash said. “It kind of hit him in the shoulder, but he had like a little bit of a shock sensation in his hand. I think he’s fine.”

Game details: Blue Jays 7, Rays 6

Josh Lowe had three really good plate appearances and showed off some speed. The leftfielder had a single off of Kevin Gausman to lead off the game, stole second and scored on a fielder’s choice. He struck out in his second at-bat, but saw a lot of pitches, then drew a walk in his fourth. He saw 22 pitches total. “Had a really encouraging couple of at-bats. That first one definitely was encouraging,” Cash said. … Jose Siri also had a good afternoon with a double and a run scored. “Jose laced double down and then made an adjustment after his first at-bat, when chased a couple of pitches,” Cash said.


Twins manager Rocco Baldelli revealed that the PitchCom receiver their catcher was using was so loud against the Rays on Thursday that an umpire warned them. The Rays, however, said they never heard it.

“Maybe next time they could turn it up higher so we can hear,” joked Cash, adding: “But it makes sense, a spring training game in a dome, a little bit less wind ... I would expect that.”

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