Rasmus working on basics this spring

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For Colby Rasmus, thinking about the game too much has done more harm than good in the past.

Entering his third season with the Blue Jays, the 26-year-old believes his over-thinking ways could be over, and a lot of that has to do with manager John Gibbons.

"My relationship [with Gibbons], it's been really good for me so far," the center fielder said. "I've always been one of those guys who do worse when people stay on me. In this game, they're throwing balls at 100 mph at you, and if you're so amped up that you can't even see the ball, how are you going to hit it?"

Rasmus began last season on a high note, hitting .259 with a .328 on-base percentage. However, after the All-Star break, those numbers plummeted to .176 and .238, respectively.

Although Rasmus is not blaming anything on former skipper John Farrell and his coaching style, Rasmus knows there's a distinct difference between his old manager and his new one.

Rasmus believes that will only work out in his favor.

"When somebody has confidence in you to play the game your way and follow your own instincts, it can make you have more confidence," Rasmus said. "When you're worried about not doing the right thing, or worried you're in the wrong spot because they're moving you around and telling you that what you're doing is not right, that can take down your confidence."

Now that he fully understands that, Rasmus said he's been working on the basics this spring.

"For me, it's just about staying relaxed and doing what I've done since I was three or four years old -- having fun, seeing the ball, hitting it, and catching it," Rasmus said.

Melissa Couto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.