Rasmus enjoys fit with the Orioles, now looks to make roster

SARASOTA, Fla. - Outfielder Colby Rasmus signed a minor league contract with the Orioles on Feb. 21. Just over a month later, he could find himself in the starting lineup on opening day.

Rasmus seems to have an excellent shot to break north with the club and possibly be the left-handed batting side of a right field platoon.

For now, he’s enjoying his first few weeks as an Oriole.

Orioles-Pins-Shirt-Sidebar.jpg“It’s been good,” he said Saturday morning in the clubhouse. “Enjoying my time so far. Been feeling good and feeling good at the plate. I like the vibe of this team. So, yeah, enjoying it.

“I think I can bring some energy. I have kind of a funny way in going about the game. I try to cut down the other teams and boost confidence on our side. Just try to play hard, play good D. When we make plays behind our pitchers, they can feel more confident. I’m going to try and put some good ABs together.”

With Tampa Bay last season, the 31-year-old Rasmus batted .281/.318/.579 with seven doubles, nine home runs and 23 RBIs in 37 games. He went on the disabled list in June with tendinitis in his surgically repaired left hip and was placed on the restricted list the following month. He had some family matters to deal with. But he’s back now with a renewed focus and perhaps a different approach to the game.

“Maybe a little bit,” he said. “Probably along the lines of not getting super caught up in it. If the umpire makes a bad call, not wanting to rip his head off. Just kind of trying to let it hang out, which can be hard. This game is tough and it keeps evolving. I’m just happy to still be able to play and compete and be with a good group of guys to try and win some games.”

Rasmus has been through a few spring trainings. He said he’s never found one approach to stay with under the Florida sun.

“I’ve never been good with a routine,” he said. “But I’ve bumped my head against the wall so many times you learn to channel that energy. As a young player, you use up so much energy and you want to show everybody what you can do. Being a little bit older, I just let the chips fall where they may and be myself. Do my thing. Not get super concerned with what someone thinks I should or should not be. This game is not built for everyone to be a superstar.”

Rasmus said he has found his new O’s teammates to be very welcoming.

“Yep. Adam Jones. Tilly (Chris Tillman). Manny (Machado) and (Jonathan) Schoop. Everyone is cool,” he said. “Good folks. There is just a sense of show up and do your work, which is what I like.

“I feel like if you’ve made it to the leagues, you should be able to, not act like you’ve got 100 years in the league, but be able to feel comfortable in your own skin and do your thing. Coming in here, I feel like I’ve kind of eased into it and I feel like it’s been a good fit so far. I enjoy going out there and battling with these guys.”

Rasmus went 0-for-5 on the recent two-day trip to the East Coast of Florida. He went 1-for-3 with a single in yesterday’s loss to Toronto. That dropped his average from .333 to .276 over 11 games (8-for-29) with two doubles, a homer and four RBIs.

Rasmus said he is not one to size up the current roster and his chances of making it on opening day. He won’t do any handicapping leading up to the season opener.

“That’s not going to help me,” Rasmus said. “I am not a guy that reads everything. I can’t keep up with all that. I’ve got a wife and kids and dogs and cows at home. But I’ve played with a few of these boys and they are all good dudes. I’m just playing my game and trying to treat everyone with respect. Treat everyone how I want to be treated and that’s how I go about my day.”

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