Houston Astros: Colby Rasmus is unlikely to return in 2017
Jeff Luhnow says he doesn’t know if or where Colby Rasmus fits in the Houston Astros future.
The Houston Astros cannot sit this offseason quietly and make only a few moves. After falling short this season of the playoffs in 2016, Jeff Luhnow has some holes to fill. One of the unknown positions going into the offseason is the outfield, as echoed by Jeff Luhnow in his end-of-season press conference. There is a help needed sign in the outfield next to the construction around Tal’s Hill.
George Springer will be manning right field again in 2017 with his all-out play in the outfield. Other than that, center and left field remain open for 2017. While several names are out there hoping that A.J. Hinch gives them the rose, only two of them will be the everyday guys.
Two outfield spots up for grabs.
Some of the favorites for the outfield positions are Teoscar Hernandez, Jake Marisnick, Preston Tucker, and Tony Kemp. There is a slight chance that the Astros will put the loser at third base in left field in Alex Bregman or Yulieski Gurriel. There are a few dark horse candidates in Derek Fisher, Jon Kemmer, or Andrew Aplin.
One person who will not likely be in the plans for 2017 is Colby Rasmus. As much as I admired what he was able to accomplish in the 2015 playoff run, he wasn’t the same player in 2016. There were whispers that he was ready to retire after the 2015 season and become a rancher. However, the Astros extended Rasmus a qualifying offer this past offseason.
Mr. Colby Jack has developed quite a following his epic shirtless postseason celebration, but even that has begun to wear out. Rasmus got off to a hot start to 2016, hitting .263 with seven homers and 19 RBI’s. Before the season, I had picked up Rasmus in most of my fantasy leagues due to him batting cleanup for the Stros. I looked like a genius before reality set in. The end was near.
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While Rasmus may catch on with another team, there are very few people that think that Rasmus will return in 2017. Count Jeff Luhnow among them. At the end of the season press conference, he hinted that he doesn’t see how or where Rasmus fits in the Astros’ plans.
While I don’t get inside access to the Astros locker room, it was pretty evident that Rasmus didn’t want to play at the end of the season. He fought ear issues all season which caused him to struggle at the plate. The Astros need to improve in the outfield, but we need to look beyond Rasmus for 2017. We need a big move.
My co-host on Talking Stros Brandon recently brought up the fact that Rasmus is a left-handed power hitter. With A.J. Reed struggling and Luis Valbuena missing time, the Astros were shorthanded. The lineup should have a power left-hander in it, which hurt the Astros towards the end of 2016.
Next: Is Andrew McCutchen a possibility via trade for the Astros?
It seemed like when Valbuena went down, the potency of the offense traded. A.J. Reed could be that power bat for the Astros, but I wouldn’t mind them bringing Valbuena back as insurance. However, I want no part of Rasmus back with Houston. We will always have the memories of 2015.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***