According to Kendall Rogers, national writer and editor of D1Baseball.com, the author of OSU’s only perfect game has been cleared to return to action and will pitch this weekend against UCLA.
Following a spectacular freshman season that saw Rasmussen toss a perfect game against Washington State the right-hander began his sophomore season as the Beavs #1 pitcher. Unfortunately for the Beavers and Rasmussen, that sophomore season was short lived as Rasmussen tore his UCL mid-season and had to undergo Tommy-John surgery. Many were unsure if Rasmussen would be able to return this season, as recovery from Tommy John surgery can take up to a year and half for some, but the highly touted draft prospect has spent most of this season throwing bullpen sessions and working tirelessly to rehab his elbow in hopes of returning in 2017.
It will be interesting to see how Pat Casey and pitching coach Nate Yeskie utilize him because as weird as it sounds Drew Rasmussen is a luxury at this point. Even without the service of their ace and co-captain the Beaver pitching staff has been unreal this season. Led by Luke Heimlich, who has rather seamlessly stepped into the role of ace, the Beavers lead the nation in ERA by a mile (1.74 which is far ahead of second place UCF at 2.48). I would imagine early on Rasmussen will get his work out of the bullpen, and may get a Tuesday start or two to allow him to shake of some of the rust that comes with not pitching in a game for over a year. If Rasmussen can pitch as well as he did in his freshman and sophomore campaigns, a starting pitching staff of Heimlich, Thompson, Rasmussen and Fehmel will be hard to beat come post season play.