DETROIT -- Colby Rasmus entered play on Thursday afternoon mired in one of the first slumps of his career.
Rasmus had the pleasure of facing Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander while struggling through an 0-for-26 skid, but did manage to end it there with a fourth-inning single to right field in the Blue Jays' 3-2 loss in 11 innings. The recent woes coincide with a nagging groin injury that forced Rasmus to miss three games earlier this month.
"I don't see the way he's swinging, or the way he's running right now, is a cause and effect to what he is going through right now," manager John Farrell said. "He still shows good bat speed, there has been some swing and miss on secondary pitches, particularly right-handed changeups.
"We're struggling to put a quality offense together night in and night out, but he is a guy that has been productive for us and we're going to continue to maintain him in the lineup."
Rasmus' absence appears to have affected his timing at the plate, but he's also dealing with a different approach from opposing pitchers. Earlier this year, Rasmus made an adjustment by moving up in the batter's box and closer to the plate.
It was a move designed to allow Rasmus to pull the ball with more authority and improve his ability to attack pitches on the outer part of the plate. Teams have since made a counter adjustment by pitching up and in more frequently which has created a different look at the plate.
"What I see is when he gets some fastballs around the plate, he's fouling them off and missing them rather than squaring them up," Farrell said. "Where he's at in the box in relation to the plate, we did see probably about a month ago, we came out of New York and they really elevated some fastballs in on him.
"That seemed to be a little bit of a word that spread throughout the league. I think of late he has laid off that pitch, but when he has gotten fastballs on the middle or outer part of the plate he's fouled them straight back and hasn't squared them up.