Cory Rasmus chases his big league dreams - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Cory Rasmus chases his big league dreams

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PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - Cory Rasmus has been hard at work during the off-season, trying to get ready for the biggest season of his career. The former Russell County Warrior pitcher got a real lift this winter when the Braves put him on their 40-man roster.

"The one thing I've dreamed of my whole life is trying to play in the major leagues," Rasmus said, "and the 40-man roster move, that's just one step closer to reaching my dream."

Some doubted the former first-round pick would ever get the chance after three arm and shoulder surgeries over the past five years meant nearly two full seasons on the sidelines. The contrast with older brother Colby, now the Toronto Blue Jays center fielder, made it even tougher.

"It was extremely frustrating because I'd see Colby, fortunately healthy and doing well and got the big league pretty quickly, seeing him have all that success was awesome. But I kind of felt I wish I was there with him. I guess it's made me stronger and made me appreciate the game a little more."

His injury woes also meant he had to adjust as a pitcher. His upper-90's fastball disappeared for a time. Now it's back, and suddenly he has more weapons on the mound.

"I feel my velocity's coming back," Rasmus said. "I have more faith in my fastball, more trust in it, so I can throw it anytime I want to. So I feel now I'm pretty much like I used to be. Now I'm really aggressive. But I feel my secondary stuff has gotten a lot better because of it, and overall that'll make me a better pitcher."

Being on the 40-man roster means he'll be with the big league club during spring training. He said he expects to be assigned to the Class AAA Gwinnett Braves of the International League. From there, he knows its up to him.

"It's right on the verge of reaching your dream that you've played since you were three or four years old, something you've always dreamed of, and it's right there now. So I've got to go out there and perform, and hopefully I'll get a chance."

The work begins on Tuesday, when the Braves hold their first workouts of Spring Training down at the Disney Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

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