Cory Rasmus looking forward to facing Blue Jays and brother Colby
Toronto Blue Jays' Colby Rasmus watches his two run home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning of MLB American League baseball action in Toronto, Wednesday September 18, 2013. (Mark Blinch / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, May 9, 2014 7:23PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 9, 2014 9:26PM EDT
TORONTO -- Cory Rasmus needed time to appreciate the significance of his first appearance at Rogers Centre.
A rookie reliever with the Atlanta Braves last May, Rasmus left the mound angry after giving up a home run to Edwin Encarnacion and a double to his older brother, Blue Jays centre fielder Colby Rasmus, in an eventual 9-3 interleague loss for Atlanta.
Now with the Los Angeles Angels, Cory is back in Toronto for a four-game set against Colby's Blue Jays.
And one year later, the younger Rasmus (by 15 months) feels a lot different about his last outing at Rogers Centre.
"To be honest with you, I didn't really get to enjoy the moment like I wish I would have, but to have an opportunity to come up here and maybe face him again is awesome," Cory Rasmus said hours before first pitch Friday.
"Hopefully I can embrace it a little more and I won't be so uptight about everything, because looking back on it, it was awesome. Brothers don't get to face each other too often in the big leagues."
Rasmus made his major league debut a week before the Toronto outing last year, and was traded to the Angels the following month. He finished the 2013 season with a 5.40 ERA through 21 2/3 innings.
Since being called up by the Angels a week ago, the 26-year-old, who's endured three shoulder surgeries over the last seven years, has pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.
With Colby Rasmus on a hot streak as well -- batting .391 with a .417 on-base percentage and .913 slugging percentage over the last seven days -- both brothers say they're looking forward a possible rematch of last year's at-bat.
The two had breakfast together Friday morning, and younger brother Cyle, who's just finished his college career at Columbus State University, will be in the Rogers Centre stands taking in the action this weekend.
Colby Rasmus says the playing field between him and Cory is a bit more even these days.
"I didn't really like (facing him) a whole lot last year." he said. "I've had the good fortune of hanging around the big leagues a bit longer and he was having struggles with his shoulder. He'd just been in the minor leagues, it wasn't really a fun time."
Cory and Colby were always teammates throughout their childhood, playing together in the Little League World Series in 1999, and winning a State Championship with Russell County High School in Seale, Ala., in 2005.
With that kind of history, Colby Rasmus admits it's strange having Cory on the other side of the diamond. But he's glad to see his younger brother getting his shot in the big leagues.
"I'd love nothing more than to have him do well," he said. "Through everything we've been through, all the work we put in when we were younger ... for us to both be on the same big league field and have a chance to do this, it's very special."