PHILADELPHIA - Before last night’s game we found out that outfielder Colby Rasmus had left the Orioles, but no specific reason was given for that. After the game, two of his Orioles teammates expressed support for Rasmus.
The Orioles placed him on the restricted list, which means he will forfeit his remaining salary and that he comes off both the 25-man and 40-man rosters.
This is the second year in a row that Rasmus has walked away from a team in the month of July. He went on the Tampa Bay Rays’ restricted list last July 13 and later said he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Right-hander Alex Cobb was the Orioles’ starter in last night’s 3-2 loss at Philadelphia. He was also a teammate of Rasmus in 2017 with the Rays and in 2018 with the Orioles.
“I was surprised last year, I think, a little bit,” Cobb said. “I think, knowing what we know as his teammates and as his friends, all I really want to say on the subject is you’re proud that he can understand that his main job is for him to take care of his family and be a family man right now. If that means walking away from the game - we know how difficult that is to do - then he made the right decision to do what he needs to do and take care of life off the field before he can be a ballplayer.”
Mark Trumbo added this comment: “I don’t have too many details on it, only that he’s chosen to step away. We want to be supportive and help him through this. But if he thought this was the right decision, he’s got to take care of business.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought reporters up to speed on the news less than an hour before the scheduled 7:05 p.m. start time of Tuesday’s game.
“Colby talked to me this afternoon and said he made a decision to go home and discontinue playing,” said Showalter. “We’re going to honor that and give him the privacy he is due. Hope everything is for the best and wish him well. We’ll see what the future brings. I won’t get into a lot of details of our conversation.”
The Orioles signed Rasmus to a minor league contract Feb. 22. It paid him $3 million while he was on the major league roster, with another $2 million possible via incentives. But Rasmus spent over two months on the disabled list with a left hip issue and hit just .133 (6-for-45) in 18 games with one homer and one RBI.
Showalter would not say if there is any chance Rasmus could return this year. It sure seems unlikely.
“We all got to know Colby and we wish him well,” Showalter said. “We hope he can get things ... his reasons, those are his private reasons and I respect them. There is a lot more to life than baseball. And that is his decision.”
Cobb’s take on the rest of the year: Cobb had an 8.06 ERA over his previous four starts heading into his game last night. He threw well but took the loss versus the Phillies. Cobb went 6 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and three runs, producing the Orioles’ 40th quality start. But because the offense has been so bad, the Orioles are just 17-23 in those games.
Cobb is very honest and insightful in his interviews, as Baltimore reporters have come to learn. With his record at 2-10 and ERA at 6.53, he said he almost has to change how he views future results. He wanted reporters to be sure to note he was not talking about not trying to win, but he knows he needs to do everything he can right now to get his own season on a better track both for this season and beyond.
“It’s to the point of the year, with where we are in the standings, (and the) individual production that we’ve had, we haven’t lived up to where we want to be. To really take a step back and not be results-oriented. I want to say take it almost spring training-like. We have to do whatever it takes for each and every one of us to get better moving forward. When you get hung up on results you let that cloud the process that is going on to get to make yourself better.
“I don’t want it to be framed for any fans or any front office or coaching staff that we are not trying to go out there and win ballgames. We absolutely are, every single night. But we also need to not be so results-oriented. And take the small progressions that we’re making and get better. You know, if we want to compete later on this year or next year, we have to get better, each and every one of us. You know it stinks that we went away with a loss. Gave up a few runs that I didn’t want to. But tonight I need to think about where I got to and that’s going to get me to become more successful later on this year and into next year.”
Final notes: The O’s have gotten three straight solid starts from Andrew Cashner, Kevin Gausman and Cobb as they’ve allowed six runs and 14 hits over 20 2/3 innings for a combined ERA of 2.61. O’s pitchers now have eight quality starts in their last 12 games, with a 4.22 ERA.
Trumbo hit two homers in Sunday’s win, and then blasted a 442-foot solo homer last night in the second inning. That homer was his eighth in his past 15 games and produced the 400th extra-base hit of his career. Trumbo has hit six homers in his last eight interleague games.
The Phillies recorded their 25th comeback win last night. Per Elias Sports Bureau, it is their most prior to the All-Star break since 2009, when they had 26. The Phillies are now 18-7 in one-run games.
Manny Machado went 1-for-3 with a double and is 10-for-23 with two homers during a six-game hitting streak.