Have Toronto baseball fans seen the last of Colby Rasmus as a full-time outfielder with the Blue Jays?
With major league rosters expanding earlier this week and Toronto summoning youngsters Anthony Gose, Kevin Pillar and Canadian Dalton Pompey from triple-A, Jays manager John Gibbons has options beyond the inconsistent Rasmus.
Prior to Tuesday’s series opener in Tampa Bay, Gibbons gave the 28-year-old the news that Rasmus would sit at times down the stretch in favour of the rookies.
Pillar started Tuesday and Gose, who has matched or exceeded Rasmus’s defensive performance this season, got the call Wednesday.
“I’ll be playing whenever they think I should play and I’m just going to be sitting around watching these rookies play,” Rasmus told the National Post Wednesday.
In 95 games and 333 at-bats this season, Rasmus has a .225 batting average and 116 strikeouts along with 16 home runs, 37 runs batted in and a .287 on-base percentage.
Would you start him on a daily basis?
Entering Wednesday, Gose was hitting .234 with a .333 OBP and 14 stolen bases in 175 at-bats for Toronto while Pillar sported .237, .246 totals with 13 strikeouts in 32 games (59 at-bats).
Rasmus, who is a free agent after this season, has been the Jays’ starting centre-fielder since he arrived in a mid-2011 trade from St. Louis. But for the most part he’s been a disappointment and failed to live up to the hype from his days with the Cardinals.
In three-plus seasons in Toronto, he’s hit .234 with a .725 on-base-plus slugging percentage.
If you asked Rasmus’s father, Tony, he would say his son hasn’t realized his full potential with the Blue Jays. He would also say former Cardinals manager, Tony La Russa, stifled the younger Rasmus’s enthusiasm for the game and “I think he’s never been the same.”
Rasmus, who has sat four of the past five games, said he will “just come in and do my thing and look forward to getting home. Go back to the drawing board, try to do it again next year.”
But where will he be patrolling centre-field? Reducing Rasmus’s playing time, according to Gibbons, was a front-office decision so it appears general manager Alex Anthopoulos has already moved on.
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