The Tampa Bay Rays have never been big players in the free agent market. Being a small market team has required them to sign average free agents to cheap contracts. They continued that tradition last off-season when they signed veteran outfielder Colby Rasmus to a one-year contract for a very affordable $5 million. Rasmus can also earn incentives totaling $2 million if he reaches all of them. Unfortunately, Rasmus has not been a part of the team for the first month of the 2017 season. He had successful hip surgery during the off-season that he was still recovering from in April. Rasmus will now make his Rays debut.
Shane Peterson was designated for assignment in order to make room for Rasmus on the roster of the Rays. Manager Kevin Cash was very pleased with Peterson’s performance during April. Cash said that it would be great if Peterson would play in the minor leagues for the Rays. However, he wants another team to pick up Peterson so he has another chance to play in the Major Leagues.
Rasmus said that it took him longer to recover than he thought it would. There were no complications with the surgery. His body just needed longer to heal than the doctors anticipated. The Rays have done a very good job of scoring runs without Rasmus in the lineup. This has been a surprise because the Rays did not have a good offense last year. Rasmus hit 25 home runs in 2015 for the Houston Astros. That was the most home runs he had ever hit in a single season. He will he a solid power threat for the Rays if he is able to stay healthy.
Health has been a major concern for Rasmus throughout his entire career. He has only played more than 150 games once in his career. Manager Kevin Cash said they will be easing Rasmus into the lineup and giving him a light workload. Cash hopes that this will allow Rasmus to get acclimated to the grind of playing baseball every day. Rasmus will be given a couple of days off each week until Cash feels that Rasmus is strong enough to play in the outfield every day. Cash said that Rasmus will also be seeing some time at designated hitter during the next few weeks.