Colby Rasmus may be playing spring training games for the Tampa Bay Rays, but he has been limited to the DH spot as he is not yet ready to play the field, since undergoing surgery this past off-season.
The Rays and Rasmus don’t think he’ll be ready until the regular season has already started, meaning Rasmus will begin the season on the 10-day disabled list. Under MLB’s new collective bargaining agreement, the 10-day disabled list has taken the place of the 15 day DL. Prior to Opening Day, teams are allowed to backdate the player’s time on the DL three days, so Rasmus could rejoin the team after just one week of games.
The Rays signed Rasmus back in January to a one year, $5M deal. The veteran outfielder struggled with injuries in 2016 and hampered his performance. He underwent a couple of surgeries once the season finished.
In his place, Mallex Smith will most likely make the Opening Day roster. The Rays acquired Smith as part of the Drew Smyly trade. Smith was with the Braves, then sent to the Mariners, and finally to the Rays in a span of 45 minutes.
However, Smith is still not a lock and the Rays could still look elsewhere, either within or outside the organization to fill their outfield needs.