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Colby Rasmus Leaves Rays, Placed on Restricted List

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 9: Colby Rasmus
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 9: Colby Rasmus
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The Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday have place outfielder Colby Rasmus on the restricted listed after he told the team that he is stepping away from baseball.

This past January the Tampa Bay Rays took a gamble on free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus by signing him to a one-year, $5 million deal despite coming off an injury plagued 2016 season with off-season hip and sports hernia surgeries.

The gamble was short lived as the team announced on Thursday afternoon that Colby Rasmus had informed the team that he has decided to “step away from baseball.” There was no further information given by the team other than their statement.

The Rays had also hoped that being reunited with Rays hitting coach Chad Mottola, who Rasmus credited with his success in Toronto would revitalize his career, plus he would fill a defensive hole in left field and add depth in center field.

However, his October hip surgery limited him in spring training and Rasmus would begin the season on the disabled list as he was slowed down from soreness due to tendinitis to the hip while continuing his rehab.

He would finally make his Rays debut on May 2 and would appear in 37 games hitting .281/.318/.579 with 9 HR and 23 RBIs before being place on the 10-day DL with left hip tendinitis on June 23.

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It was expected that Rasmus would return before the All-Star break, however prior to Thursday’s afternoon voluntary workout at Tropicana Field Rays manager Kevin Cash told the media he [Rasmus] was still in the rehab part of his recovery when asked about his progress.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times via Twitter reports he is expected to miss the remainder of the season and that there are no new issues concerning health etc… however, Rasmus may have decided to step away from the game due to frustration of the injuries and wanting to spend more time with his family Topkin wrote.

This is a big blow to the Rays, especially as they are in contention for the post-season and would have had another power bat in the lineup as well a stronger defensive alignment in the outfield.

However, the game goes on and the Rays will continue to go with Corey Dickerson, Peter Bourjos and Shane Peterson as the mainstays in left, with Mallex Smith and Steven Souza Jr. in center and right.

Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times shared some good news that Kevin Kiermaier is likely to be cleared for baseball activities after the Rays return from their road trip and is on target to come off the DL on Aug.9. As well, Matt Duffy could resume baseball activities at the same time.

As well, Tim Beckham who was placed on the 10-day DL prior to the All-Star Game with an ankle sprain could return on Sunday when he is eligible to come off the DL.

Next: Rays Hoping Jacob Faria Can Build Off First Half

Losing Colby Rasmus is a big blow to the Rays, especially as they are in contention for the post-season and would have had another power bat in the lineup as well a stronger defensive alignment in the outfield.

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