Braves call up heralded reliever Rasmus — but debut on hold

Cory Rasmus, who tore up Triple-A batters before being called up, was the 38th selection overall by the Braves in 2006.

Cory Rasmus, who tore up Triple-A batters before being called up, was the 38th selection overall by the Braves in 2006.

ATLANTA — Tony Rasmus and his wife Robin were enjoying a Saturday afternoon at the movies, watching “Star Trek Into Darkness” when she received a phone call and rushed out of the theater.

When she returned crying, Tony thought one of their children had been hurt.

No, those were tears of joy. She had just finished talking to their son, Cory, who had finally been promoted to the major leagues by the Atlanta Braves.

Cory was in uniform for Saturday night's and Sunday’s day game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, he will have to wait to make his debut after Kris Medlen, Cory Gearrin and Craig Kimbrel pitched in the Braves' 3-1 win against the Dodgers and Rasmus again wasn’t called on Sunday Atlanta’s 5-2 win in the series finale.

"I didn't know what to think," Tony said. "Just excited."

The Rasmuses left the theater to return home to prepare for the 90-minute trip to Atlanta to see their son. This is the second of their children to make the majors. Colby is an outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays. A third son, Casey, is in the minor leagues for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cory, 25, is taking the place of reliever Eric O'Flaherty, who was placed on the disabled list by the Braves with a torn UCL in his left elbow.

Cory was 1-1 with seven saves and a 0.93 ERA in Triple-A Gwinnett. He had appeared in 19 games and pitched 19 1/3 innings. He had given up just three runs — two earned — on eight hits and nine walks with 21 strikeouts. Cory, who was stuck in traffic Saturday afternoon headed to Turner Field, said this is every kid's dream.

“It's pretty much what we play for from the time we start playing baseball,” Cory said. “To have an opportunity to get to play a little bit is awesome, to say the least. Seeing Colby play and the success he's had, you just want to see what that experience is like. Hopefully I'll do well.

“It's something I've always wanted to do, something I've worked for my whole life. It's pretty surreal. I'm on the Braves and I've got a chance to play at the highest level. I'm not even there yet, and I don't know what to say.”

Cory said he couldn’t wait to spend some extended time in the bigs.

“I know it's going to be awesome,” he said. “I hope I can contribute. If I can help them win a couple games, that's all I can ask for.”

Cory said he was glad to making his debut in Atlanta — which is home for the next four days — so his parents could see it.

“That's probably the best thing about it," Cory said. “Atlanta being only a couple hours from home is awesome. Hopefully, I'll have a chance to pitch a little bit.”

Tony said he is just excited and proud.

“I've always said Cory was the best player in the family,” Tony said. “He was the best hitter we had at Russell County. He's had some bad luck with injuries, so it's great that he has a chance to wear the big league uniform. I always said, if he could just step out on that field one time and pitch. ... He's been throwing really well, so hopefully he'll get that chance.

“As a parent, you just know all the work they put in and the long hours. It's nice to see them get rewarded.”

Cory was placed on the Braves' 40-man roster during the offseason and pitched in five games during this past spring training.

Cory, who was a member of the 1999 Phenix City Little League team that won the U.S. Championship and the 2005 Russell County High state championship team, was a supplemental first-round draft choice by the Braves in 2006, the 38th selection overall.

He missed most of his second and third seasons in the minors after shoulder surgery. Collarbone surgery in 2011 also set him back.

He pitched just three games in 2006 after being drafted before injuring his shoulder. He had surgery the following May to tighten the capsule and shave the rotator cuff. He returned in 2008 but pitched just 5 2-3 innings.

He pitched in Danville in rookie ball in 2009 and in Class A in Rome and Myrtle Beach in 2010.

He had a breakthrough season last year in Double-A Mississippi with seven saves in 50 games and struck out 62 in 58 2/3 innings.

Cory talked during spring training about getting a chance to face Colby. The teams play four games later this month — May 27-28 in Toronto and the 29th and 30th in Atlanta.

“I hope I can play against him someday and show I'm at the same level,” Cory said.