Rasmus returns to action vs. Tigers

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Colby Rasmus made his long-awaited return to the Blue Jays' lineup on Saturday afternoon against the Tigers.

Rasmus went 0-for-2 with a strikeout, a walk and a popout to third base during his first Grapefruit League game since Feb. 27.

In some ways, it's almost like Rasmus is starting from scratch again because of the prolonged layoff early in camp. He was rusty at the plate, but that was to be expected.

"Everything felt good," Rasmus said. "Timing was a little bit off at the plate. I started to get comfortable ... back in there, so that's good. It won't take too much time.

"Facing a pitcher like [Doug Fister], he was throwing the ball pretty well -- and me having not seeing any pitching, it was tough."

Rasmus is expected be back in the lineup on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees. With an off-day on Monday and a lengthy road trip to Fort Myers, Fla., on Tuesday, he will likely receive some additional rest early next week.

The injury originally occurred when a bat slid out of Rasmus' arms during a swing. He immediately felt a twinge, but couldn't figure out exactly what went wrong until he was examined by the club's medical staff.

Rasmus eventually found out he had slightly strained his right pectoral muscle and had an impingement of rhomboid muscle, which is located in the upper-back area.

"It was just sore for a few days," Rasmus said. "At first, I thought I hurt something in my shoulder. I didn't really know what it was. Then, I got an MRI on my shoulder, [an] MRI on my neck, so it was just that the muscles in there got banged pretty good when the bat slid out of my hand. It took a little time to get them back to where the next day I wasn't waking up sore."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.