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Gibbons not concerned about Rasmus' slow start

TORONTO -- Center fielder Colby Rasmus snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a double to right field during Saturday afternoon's 4-0 victory over the Yankees.

Rasmus has gotten off to a slow start this season as he continues to search for some positive results at the plate. Perhaps that double will help jump-start that, but he's still just 2-for-22, with 10 strikeouts.

A lot of the problems seem to have stemmed from a timing issue, but even before the game, manager John Gibbons thought Rasmus was very close and didn't think there was cause for any concern.

"It's kind of a similar start to last year," Gibbons said. "He's just missing some pitches, whether it's fouling them off or, like [on Friday] night, when he hit one to the track. Even a couple of times [against Tampa Bay], he's right on it, he's hitting long fly balls, so he's just a click off.

"He's going to strike out -- that's the kind of player he is, he's going to have some strikeouts -- but I think he's real close, he looks real close, it just hasn't happened yet."

Rasmus, 27, is a notoriously streaky hitter. There are long stretches in which he will look great at the plate, and other times when there are prolonged periods of ineffectiveness. Last season, though, despite a couple of slow stretches, was a major success overall.

He had a breakout season at the plate by hitting .276 with 22 home runs and 66 RBIs in 118 games. The Blue Jays are expecting similar results this season and aren't about to read a lot into the rough first week.

"That's who he is," Gibbons said when asked about Rasmus' streakiness. "He got off to a similar start last year, but then he picked it up and was much better in the second half, maybe even before that.

"Most guys in baseball are streaky, good ways and bad ways. They'll have their ups and downs. Very rarely do you get guys who are steady the whole way, those are usually your Hall of Famers. Everybody battles that. Some guys get off to slow starts, some fast, but eventually, everybody hits that rut."

In addition to connecting on a double, Rasmus made a major impact with his defense. He threw out Francisco Cervelli at the plate for his second assist of the season and added a diving catch during the ninth inning.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for
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