The foreboding sky gave plenty of warning of what was to come.

It started with a spot of ominous darkness in the distance, but before long a phalanx of big black clouds were rolling in above the outfield.

A cool wind picked up, swaying the palm trees near the left-field foul pole, as the grounds crew hastily rolled the tarp out over the infield and the sky flashed intermittently.

Blue Jays right-hander Kyle Drabek, scheduled to make his sixth minor-league start here since coming off last season’s Tommy John surgery, looked up at the gathering storm and frowned.

“Every. Time.”

It’s rainy season in Florida and the Dunedin Blue Jays have had 11 games suspended or cancelled since June 1. Two of Drabek’s last three starts have been postponed due to rain.

Already facing an uphill battle as he works his way back to the big leagues following more than a year on the disabled list after his second Tommy John, Drabek is now fighting Mother Nature.

He pulls out his iPhone and tries to decipher the heat-map radars on his weather app.

“It’s not going to happen,” he says, pointing to a red splotch that appears to be heading Dunedin’s way.
The sky cracks overhead and the downpour begins as a dejected Drabek retreats to the clubhouse.

But the storm moves quick and less than two hours later he is on the muddy mound facing Byron Buxton — last year’s second overall draft pick — and the rest of the Minnesota Twins’ Class-A minor leaguers in front of a crowd of about 75, which includes scouts, girlfriends sitting alone and scattered clutches of diehards. Not even $1 hotdog night could inspire Dunedin’s baseball faithful to brave the crummy weather.

But Drabek — who pitched in front of 41,677 at the Rogers Centre on June 13, 2012, when he walked off the mound after hearing a “pop” in his elbow — paid little mind to the paltry crowd. He had work to do.