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Colby Rasmus benched by Blue Jays: “I’m just sitting around watching these rookies play”

Sep 3, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

Blue Jays' Rasmus stretches during practice at their MLB American League spring training facility in Dunedin Reuters

Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus hasn’t been playing as much lately and Tuesday manager John Gibbons made it official, telling the 28-year-old he’s been benched.

Or as Rasmus said to John Lott of the National Post:

I’ll be playing whenever they think I should play and I’m just going to be sitting around watching these rookies play. … I’m not down about it. No hard feelings. I’m just going to come in and pull for these boys and hope they do good.

Rasmus has been the Blue Jays’ starting center fielder since they acquired him from the Cardinals in mid-2011, but he’s failed to live up to the promise he showed in St. Louis. Combined in three-plus seasons in Toronto he’s hit .234 with a .725 OPS, including .225 with 16 homers and a .726 OPS in 95 games this season.

The homers are nice and overall Rasmus’ production has been decent for a center fielder offensively, but he’s an impending free agent and the Blue Jays have no intention of re-signing him. Expect to see a lot of 25-year-old rookie Kevin Pillar and 23-year-old rookie Anthony Gose in his place down the stretch.

  1. cardsaintseltics - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    Well Colby, at least you helped the Cardinals win the WS in 2011…by getting traded.

    • El Bravo - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      Did he get a ring for that?

      • cardsaintseltics - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:59 PM

        IIRC LaRussa tried to hand-deliver one to him, but it wasn’t accepted.

      • cardsaintseltics - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        IIRC Tony LaRussa tried to deliver one to him, but was rebuffed by Rasmus.

      • Paper Lions - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Yes. Pretty much any player on the roster at any point during a championship season is given a ring.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 4, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        Him refusing to accept the ring really tells us everything we need to know about this kid.
        This in mind…I do hope he somehow figures out how to remove his head from his ass because the dude has serious skills.

    • SocraticGadfly - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:11 PM

      I didn’t like the trade when it first happened, but, besides the 2011 title, Rasmus’ post-trade career confirmed it was the right longer-term move, too. He was OK last year, but boy he regressed this year.

    • 78mu - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      I remember seeing the post-trade issue of SI at my dentist’s office and the article basically said the Cards got hosed in the trade.

      The funny thing is almost everybody would have agreed since Edwin Jackson went to the Cards. Strange how things worked out.

  2. mazblast - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    After years of crabbing and defying his organizations, he seems to have finally learned to say the right thing. Now he needs to take a one-year deal, rebuild his value, and then look for the bigger bucks. Right now, he’s a name with little in the way of production.

    • scatterbrian - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      I don’t know what he’s learned exactly. He sounds a bit passive-aggressive to me.

  3. okwhitefalcon - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    Waiting for obligatory interview in/on Toronto media featuring Tony Rasmus blaming Tony LaRussa for Colby’s lack of production, emotionless play and subsequent benching.

    Oh wait…

    • saints97 - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      You know Tony Rasmus will find a way to put his passive/aggressive blame-game stamp on this.

  4. edelmanfanclub - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    The title made it seem like he was complaining but he isn’t really. A slighty below average season by Colby’s standards. Just seems way worse after a strong 2013.

    2013 (OPS+, wOBA, wRC+) 127, .365, 129
    2014 (OPS+, wOBA, wRC+) 100 .313, 99
    Career (OPS+, wOBA, wRC+) 103, .326, 102

    He could find as job a lefty part of a platoon this offseason.

  5. stoutfiles - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    What’s his dad think about all this?

    • 78mu - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      When he first got traded to Toronto the Blue Jays sent his dad a letter saying he needed to speak Canadian if he wants to complain about what they are doing with Colby.

      It took him until this season to figure out they speak English in Toronto and we see what happened to Colby’s play.

  6. proudlycanadian - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    The Jays decided a while ago that Rasmus will not be offered a new contract. They giving Pillar, Gose and Pompey a chance to perform. The 21 year old Pompey is likely to emerge as the every day CF some time in 2015.

    • Mark - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      Pillar is a worthless fourth OF who has no plate discipline. Yeah, he can run & field but not enough to make up for his bat. Gose hasn’t shown he can hit well enough, but his fielding MIGHT be good enough to make up for the lack of a bat. Pompey is probably the best of the three, but they’re better off either playing him now or starting him in AAA next year.

      Playing Pillar over Rasmus is dumb. Playing Pompey regularly would be the right call. We know what Pillar/Gose are, and they’re not impact players.

      • dan1111 - Sep 4, 2014 at 1:19 AM

        Pillar hasn’t had much of a chance at the big-league level. While it’s true that he doesn’t walk enough, he still might develop into a useful hitter.

      • Mark - Sep 4, 2014 at 7:04 AM

        He walked 0 times in AAA in August in the minors. He had one job – to develop his plate discipline – and he failed miserably at that.

        My expectations aren’t that high. His OPS is great, but the K:BB is awful and I don’t think he has any pitch recognition whatsoever. You can get away with it in AAA, but not in the MLB.

  7. garybrian - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    Rasmus really blew it this year. Free agency coming up and he has his worst year yet. Terrible offensively and poor defensively especially on balls he had to go back for. Good luck wherever you end up Colby.

  8. senioreditor2 - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Why didn’t Toronto trade him at the deadline????

    • indaburg - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      It takes two to trade. Why would anyone trade for him?

  9. paint771 - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Well, Colby seemed to have fit in well among his teammates, coaches, fans and the media during his time in Toronto. So, St. Louis fans can get the stick out of their asses – as if somebody not getting along with Tony LaRussa is clearly a madman. I know St. Louis folks will always think of him and his father as a walking drama, but honestly, that hasn’t been the case at all. All told he’s been a pretty low-key, laid-back member of the team. Can’t really blame anything on conduct, attitude, or his father.

    That said, he’s just been way way inconsistent. He’s had two very good years and then a whole lot of down time where he’s been incredibly average with flashes of terrible. He should latch on somewhere, and while I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see him develop into a very good player for a time, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him rattle around for a few years winning and losing starting jobs before being a 4th outfielder or injury replacement trade chip.

    • cardsaintseltics - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      Yowsa, pulling that stick out stung a bit. Most StL fans rooted for Colby to live up to his billing. It was more his daddy being a tool that got stuck in my ass…not his daddy’s tool.

    • cincinata - Sep 4, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      As an independent viewer, I can tell you that his old man was a problem all along. Any fool who thinks he knows more about hitting than major league coaches (because he was a HS coach) and inserts himself in between the situation speaks for itself. I know nothing about the fans in STL, but when I watched them play the REDS on T-V, they all seemed to support him. I do not remember them booing him on the field or at bat. The problem as I recall came after he refused to do what the coaches advised him to do and his daddy tried to get between them and give him contrary advice. Rasmus had a good future, and daddy ruined it. He should have listened to his MAJOR LEAGUE coaches and not daddy. He sounded like a spoiled brat to me and can not take the heat.

      • cincinata - Sep 4, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        By the way, he had no Good years at Toronto. For a professional center fielder, his numbers are just average or a little below in my opinion. No body in MLB will be anxious to give him a contract unless they get a steal.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 4, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      ”Him refusing to accept the ring really tells us everything we need to know about this kid.”
      ”This in mind…I do hope he somehow figures out how to remove his head from his ass because the dude has serious skills.”

      Slow learner huh? Try reading it again…only much slower.

      Can’t blame anything on this attitude?
      The issue very much is his attitude. That has always been the case.
      He is ”ho-hum.” Always has been.
      Again…I do hope he figures it out because he has 5 tool skills.
      Unfortunately, he consistently uses about 2 – 3 of them.

  10. baberuthslegs - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    His name sounds like a side order of a cheese dish during dinner at a restaurant.
    “I’ll have a side of Colby Rasmus.”

  11. stlouis1baseball - Sep 4, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    If there was any doubt previously…this now proves it.
    It was/is all Tony LaRussa’s fault.

    • cincinata - Sep 4, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      Correct you are on that!

      • cincinata - Sep 4, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        Of course, that is tong in cheek.

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