Rasmus enjoying success in No. 2 spot

Rasmus enjoying success in No. 2 spot

TORONTO -- A hot month in June has turned Colby Rasmus' season around, and the fans have let him know about it.

During the Blue Jays' weekend series with the Angels, Rasmus made a sensational diving catch running towards the outfield wall to rob Albert Pujols of extra bases. Rasmus led off the following inning, and walked up to chants of "Colby," which he also received the following day as well.

Rasmus is turning into a fan favorite in Toronto and has been one of the club's hottest hitters since manager John Farrell inserted him into the No. 2 spot in the order.

In 25 games since, entering Monday's contest, Rasmus is hitting .312, with six doubles, nine homers, 28 RBIs and a .974 OPS. In 53 games before he made the switch on June 5, Rasmus was batting just .227 with six homers and a .708 OPS.

"He does some things at the plate right now that you wouldn't think would be the norm because of how close he is to the plate," Farrell said. "He's been outstanding in that two-hole."

In addition to moving up in the batting order, Rasmus also moved up in the batter's box, and changed his stance to become more upright, while opening up and crowding the plate.

Farrell has been impressed with Rasmus' output since the adjustments.

"I think when he moves up on the plate, it simplifies his approach," Farrell explained. "He's not trying to work the ball all over the various parts of the field. We've seen a lot of right-handers try a backdoor breaking ball and he has a much clearer read on that pitch to lay off it.

"What's really surprising is that he is able to pull his hands in and get to really good fastballs on the inside part of the plate."

Rasmus showed that in Sunday's loss, by crushing an upper deck three-run homer on a 96-mph fastball from Angels reliever Jordan Walden.

The home run was Rasmus' 15th of the season, which eclipsed the 14 he hit last year in 51 fewer games and 203 fewer plate appearances.

One scorching month is a small sample size after Rasmus struggled in Toronto in 2011 and over the first two months of the season. But it appears that with a new stance, approach -- Rasmus is pulling the ball with a lot more frequency -- and position in the order, Rasmus is morphing into a new player. Or perhaps, just the player the Blue Jays thought he would be when they acquired him in a mid-season deal with the Cardinals last year.

"I think we have got the real Colby Rasmus this year," Farrell said. "He feels comfortable, his abilities have played out routinely. He's an exciting player and he's in a very good place."