Cory Rasmus will get his second straight start in place of the injured Garrett Richards on Saturday night when the Angels play the Minnesota Twins in Target Field, Manager Mike Scioscia said Thursday.
Rasmus, who went 3-1 with a 2.68 earned-run average in 24 relief appearances this season, gave up one hit and struck out six in three innings of last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Oakland, the right-hander’s 49-pitch start the first of an eight-man bullpen relay effort that shut down the Athletics.
“It’s not only because of how effective he was in his last start, but the effectiveness he’s shown throughout the year,” Scioscia said. “We’ll let him go as far as he can. If he can get into the fourth inning, great. If he can get into the fifth, better yet. We’ll just see how he holds up.”
Rasmus was a starter for five years in the minor leagues before a pair of shoulder injuries pushed him to the bullpen, but the Angels prefer that he approach his starts this month as if he was a reliever.
With an expanded roster and a 12-man bullpen, they don’t need Rasmus to pace himself to go deep into the games. The rotation spot vacated by Richards, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in late August, will come up four more times in the regular season.
“He’s not going to leave anything in the tank,” pitching coach Mike Butcher said. “He’s been a starter in the past and knows what it’s like to pace yourself. We’re looking for him to go out and compete and not hold anything back. He did a good job of that last game, and he felt really good coming out of it.”