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Rays outfielder Colby Rasmus is “stepping away” from baseball

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Colby Rasmus joined the Rays this season in hopes of rejuvenating his career by reuniting with his old hitting coach, Chad Mottola after a season derailed by injury and vertigo in 2016.

After being sidelined twice with hip tendinitis in 2017, a consequence of his recovery from hip surgery, Rasmus is stepping away from baseball for the rest of the season. He had been on the 10-day disabled list since June 23.

The team has issued the following statement:

“The Rays fully support Colby’s decision to step away from baseball. We are thankful for his contributions to our team, and we wish him and his family the best as they move forward. Respecting the privacy of Colby and his family, the Rays will have no further comment.”

There’s clearly more to this story than we know, but in situations where “Respecting the privacy of the player and his family” are concerned, it’s never good.

Rasmus was a gold glove caliber defender for the Blue Jays and Astros before joining Tampa Bay on a one year, $5 million contract. He appeared in 37 games with the Rays in his age-30 season, hitting .281/.318/.579 with 9 HR, a 131 wRC+, and 6 Defensive Runs Saved in Left Field.

The Rays are currently 3.5 games back in the AL East, and leading the American League Wild Card race.