With the signing of Colby Rasmus now finalized, the new Rays outfielder was able to officially address the media, and in doing so joined the excellent This Week in Rays Baseball podcast with Neil Solondz.
During the program, Rasmus detailed how the Rays were his top choice from the start of the off-season, and then described in harrowing detail the horrible ear injury that sidelined him last season, preventing him from contending for a golden glove.
Listen to the interview in full here:
On paper, the ear injury did not sound severe. A cyst that requires surgery sounds more like a nuisance than a debilitating illness, but it was just that. Blood regularly seeped out of his ear, something Rasmus (let’s be honest) unwisely downplayed in 2016.
During the season, the ear cyst resulted in vertigo whenever he stepped up to the plate, which more than likely contributed to his overall .206/.286/.355 batting line last season, resulting in a 75 wRC+ at 25% below replacement level. He had averaged a 118 wRC+ over the previous three seasons.
By the time he saw a doctor, Rasmus required full reconstructive surgery for his inner ear, which is difficult to fathom. Since then, Rasmus has also required minor hip and sports-hernia surgeries, but is expected to be ready for full participation mid-Spring.
Again, you have to check out the full interview above to really appreciate this story. This Week in Rays Baseball is required listening for every Rays fan.