Drew Rasmussen lastly will get to affix the Rays

Drew Rasmussen has been waiting for the Rays for a long time.

They drafted him from the state of Oregon in the first round in 2017 but didn’t sign him or even made an offer because he needed a second operation from Tommy John.

They acquired Rasmussen from the Brewers last month as part of the deal for shortstop Willy Adames, but sent him to Triple-A Durham for a month.

On Saturday, the 25-year-old finally got the chance to add a fresh and powerful arm to the Rays bullpen.

“It’s just a fun game and how life works,” said Rasmussen. “It was a strange way to almost go back to where I belong. But everything worked out and we are here now. “

Better yet, he joined the team in Seattle, close enough to where he and his wife Stevie grew up, went to college, and lived that they had an impromptu family and friends get-together at T-Mobile Park.

Rasmussen arranged 30 tickets and many others texted them to say they would be there. “It’s going really well right now,” he said.

Rasmussen, who made his 2020 debut, was with the Brewers all season but said he “fully understood” why he was sent to Durham, in part to get used to the Rays and their pitching philosophy. (JP Feyereisen, the other commercially-acquired savior, came straight to the Rays.)

Then Rasmussen showed them why he shouldn’t be at Durham by throwing 11 1/3 goalless innings, allowing five hits and two walks while hitting 23 (out of 42 bats) and fitting well with the Rays’ news.

“The trust they instill in the pitchers and the ability to pull out every hit is second to none,” said Rasmussen. “They love it when I throw my fastball (at a high 90 mph) up (in the hit zone) and throw my slider off it. And I’ll mix in my switch if necessary, but it’s definitely option number 3. “

Rasmussen can tackle short stints on consecutive days or a multi-inning assignment, and manager Kevin Cash said they expect him to get to work right away. “It should be a nice addition to what we would already call a pretty good bullpen, a really good bullpen,” said Cash.

Lowe out, Wendle in second place

Second baseman Brandon Lowe, 3-for-20 in the first five games of the road trip and his average dipped to .197, was not in the line-up against Seattle right-hander Logan Gilbert on Saturday. Cash said it was just a day off to “let him relax a little” that Lowe was available from the bench and would start Sunday against Marco Gonzales, a left-handed player with neutral splits.

After Lowe was out and Mike Brosseau dropped after Friday’s game, Joey Wendle made the runner-up for the first time of the season after splitting the time between shortstop and third base. With Brosseau gone, Wendle may have more time in second place as the Rays only have five infielder and Ji-Man Choi is limited to first base.


⋅ Paul Kirsch, who has explored the Pacific Northwest for the Rays since their inception and signed 11 major leagues, was a pre-game guest on the field.

⋅ Brosseau will stay with the Rays as a member of the taxi squad and fly back with them after Sunday’s game, then join Durham when it opens a series in Jacksonville on Tuesday.

⋅ Friday’s 5-1 loss was the Rays’ biggest lead since April 30, a 43-game streak in which they either won or lost by three or fewer, the longest such streak since Toronto in 2015 50 scored.

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