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Jason Adam anchoring Rays bullpen while keeping trust in God's goodness

After multiple injuries and years spent bouncing between the big leagues and the minors with different teams, Jason Adam appears to finally have found a home in Tampa Bay. He signed with the Rays before last season and went on to post a 1.56 ERA in 67 appearances as a member of the team’s vaunted bullpen.

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So far, he’s been even better in 2023. Adam has allowed just two earned runs in 15.1 innings while collecting a team-high four saves for the 29-9 Rays, who own the best record in baseball.

The 31-year-old struck out the side in his last appearance, which came in a 3-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

Originally drafted by his hometown Kansas City Royals in 2010, Adam made his MLB debut with the club in 2018. In between, he spent time with the Twins and Padres organizations before returning to the Royals. He was also with the Blue Jays (2019) and Cubs (2020-21) before signing with the Rays in 2022.

Two years ago, however, Adam was prepared for the possibility that he would never pitch again. He was shagging balls during batting practice for the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate when he jumped and ended up on the ground. What Adam thought was a sprained ankle turned out to be an open ankle dislocation.

In the days that followed, he had emergency surgery and got released by the Cubs. Adam said during an appearance on Sports Spectrum’s “Get in the Game” podcast that God was able to use the injury for good because it allowed Adam to control his rehab process and spend more time with his family.

“What we’ve learned through the years is His good sometimes includes being laid up on a couch for a month and a half so you can hold your 3-month-old daughter and grow a bond that I never would have got in-season with her. … His good is always better than our good and our initial plans,” Adam said.

Remarkably, Adam was back in the majors with the Cubs by the end of the season and then signed with the Rays once the lockout ended. Everything he went through brought Adam back to Romans 8:28, which he and his wife, Kelsey, consider one of their life verses. The verse is also stitched onto his glove.

“‘Don’t trust in anything other than Me,'” Adam said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in February 2022 when asked what God taught him in 2021. “‘And when you do that, I’ll work it all for your good and for My glory, so you have nothing to worry about.'”

Adam was part of the team picked to represent the U.S. at the World Baseball Classic in March and did not give up a run in the four innings he pitched during the tournament. The U.S. lost to Japan in the championship game.

On the “Get in the Game” podcast, Adam also discussed the importance of serving others and the lessons he’s learned from doing mission work.

“Serving, I think, opens your eyes to the reality of how good you have it and also gives us an opportunity to be the hands and feet of God and just share in the joy of service,” Adam said. “He doesn’t need us to serve, but He wants us to because it’s a joy.”

The Rays begin a four-game series against the New York Yankees on Thursday that is part of a 10-game road trip that lasts through May 18. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. ET.

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