The injuries continue to pile up for the Astros.
The Astros veteran outfielder, who has seen his numbers plummet since his hot April, will now join the disabled list due to a cyst in his right ear. This news comes on the heels of Rasmus being diagnosed with an ear condition called cholesteatoma, which causes growths to appear behind the eardrum, during the previous week. Tony Kemp will be called up from the Fresno Grizzlies to Rasmus’ place on the 25-man roster starting today.
After his terrific start to begin the 2016 season in which he won an AL Player of the Week award in April, Rasmus has fallen on hard times at the plate. Over the last 28 days, he has hit an underwhelming .038/.071/.094 with two walks and 17 strikeouts. In fact, Rasmus has been among the worst at the plate among regular league outfielders.
That is a far cry from his impressive April numbers which saw him post a .979 OPS with seven home runs and 19 RBI. Needless to say, it is clear that Rasmus’ ear issue has been a major reason for this unforeseeable regression. This in turn has also contributed to the Astros offense to take a sudden nosedive following the All-Star break.
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Kemp will be counted upon to provide a spark plug for a struggling Astros outfield and offense. The team is already short-handed with Valbuena being placed on the disabled list last week and Gonzalez being hampered by a right hand injury. Not to mention the continued struggles of Gomez.
In 69 games for the Fresno Grizzlies this season, Kemp has posted a .306/.389/.396 slash line with 34 walks and 34 strikeouts. He also appeared in 22 games with the Astros and posted a .697 OPS. Kemp’s ability to play the infield and the outfield along with the potential to create some havoc with his bat could potentially make him a valuable cog to the Astros roster while his teammates regain their full health.
However, there is no telling when Rasmus will return from the disabled list. It has been rumored that this could essentially end his Astros career considering that he is only signed through this season, and it remains unlikely that the team extends another qualifying offer to the veteran outfielder again. If that is truly the case, then we thank Rasmus for his contributions to the Astros, especially on last season’s team that made the playoffs for the first time in ten years.
**Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference**