Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Colby Rasmus is having a rough time at AA Montgomery, hitting just .071 (1-for-13) through four rehab games.
Take it for what it is, but Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Colby Rasmus has looked completely over-matched by AA pitching this week in Montgomery. Granted, he was facing the best pitching rotation in the Southern League, belonging to the Mississippi Braves.
In 14 plate appearances thus far, Rasmus, 30, is hitting .071 (1-for-13) with the one hit being a double and striking out four times. Last night, I was in attendance for the Biscuits/Braves game in Montgomery and Braves prospect Mike Soroka made Rasmus look foolish, popping out to the infield and displaying a lack of approach at the plate. After chasing a pair of balls in the dirt, Rasmus went down swinging against Soroka in his second at bat.
It’s worth mentioning that the Biscuits actually hit around Soroka last night, with the big blow coming off the bat of prospect Riley Unroe, who hit a missile over the right field fence, good for three runs. In four innings of work on Wednesday night, Soroka who entered the game with a 2-1 record and a 1.62 ERA, surrendered five runs (three earned) on eight hits, walking two and striking out three. Two of those hits were via the long ball, with the second of the two coming off the bat of Braxton Lee.
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Granted, it is a rehab assignment and Rasmus missed most of spring training due to injury, but it’s expected for a veteran outfielder to at least put together some sort of production facing minor league pitching.
This past offseason, the Rays inked Rasmus to a one year, $5 million dollar deal. I still like the deal for the Rays however, who desperately need a power bat in the corner outfield to complement Steven Souza Jr. and Kevin Kiermaier.
Rasmus is going to strike out, a lot, but the Rays knew that when they signed him coming off a down year in Houston in which he was the highest paid player on the Astros roster. In 2015, Rasmus belted 25 home runs for the Astros, but also struck out a hefty 31.7% of the time which is about par for the course for the former first round pick in 2005.
Take these minor league stats as you will, as these games do not bring the same adrenaline rush of playing in a big league game. I’m not a firm believer in spring training stats equating a successful regular season and the same can be said for minor league rehab assignments.
The Rays are set to bring aboard Rasmus this weekend when they will face the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. Facing one of his former clubs, it will be an opportunity for Rasmus to start his 2017 big league campaign on the right foot and propel the Rays in the right direction moving forward.