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Rasmus, Mottola enjoy history, special bond

MLB.com @wwchastain

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- When Colby Rasmus signed a one-year deal to join the Rays on Jan. 30, one of the things that most excited him about the arrangement was being reunited with Rays hitting coach Chad Mottola.

The pair spent time together in 2013, when Mottola had the same role with the Blue Jays.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- When Colby Rasmus signed a one-year deal to join the Rays on Jan. 30, one of the things that most excited him about the arrangement was being reunited with Rays hitting coach Chad Mottola.

The pair spent time together in 2013, when Mottola had the same role with the Blue Jays.

Rasmus smiled when asked about what made the duo click.

"Can't give away my secrets," Rasmus said.

He would allow that they have chemistry.

"He helped me to see some things in my swing, and was able to listen to me and some of the things that were going on in my mind, instead of sticking with a cookie-cutter mold," Rasmus said.

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Rasmus is entering his ninth season in the Major Leagues, and he's learned that some hitting coaches "just have their way."

"They have their sales pitch they give, and that's what they go with," Rasmus said. "And don't really get outside the box. And Motor was able to get outside the box with me.

"Once he saw me play, my setup is different than most, and my way of thinking is a little bit different than mainstream."

Mottola called Rasmus "such a unique guy."

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"In Toronto, it took three or four months to get this routine," Mottola said. "So the next year, we thought we'd be able to start from where we left off."

Mottola did not return as the Toronto hitting coach in 2014, so picking up where he left off with Rasmus had to wait.

"Now we're finally able to do that," Mottola said. "We picked up where we left off, and it's been great."

Rasmus, who is still taking things slow in his recovery from offseason surgeries to repair his hip and sports hernia, noted there is a nice comfort level in being reunited with his old hitting coach.

"That's the feeling," Rasmus said. "That's a big reason I wanted to come here. Having that relationship and being able to feel free in the box and in my work ethic, and him slowing me down and not just going in taking 100 swings all out and just wearing myself out. Really having a plan, and working slow and working easy to build up for the game."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Colby Rasmus