PHILADELPHIA — After Colby Rasmus’ abrupt departure from the Orioles left them short-handed for Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, his now-former teammates expressed support for the 31-year-old outfielder’s decision to leave the game for the second straight season.
Rasmus informed Orioles manager Buck Showalter that he wanted to “go home and discontinue playing” before Tuesday’s game, leading the team to place him on the restricted list.
The players he left behind only want what’s best for him, they said after the game.
“I don’t have too many details on it — only that he’s chosen to step away,” right fielder Mark Trumbo said. “We want to be supportive and help him through this. But if he thought this was the right decision, he’s got to take care of business. “
Alex Cobb, Tuesday’s starter, was rehabilitating from his own Tommy John elbow surgery last summer with the Tampa Bay Rays when Rasmus, on the disabled list in July with a hip injury, left that team as well.
That informed his reaction to Tuesday’s proceedings some.
“I was surprised last year, I think, a little bit,” Cobb said. “I think knowing what we know as his teammates and as his friends, all I really want to say on the subject is you’re proud that he can understand that his main job is for him to take care of his family, and be a family man right now.
“If that means walking away from the game, we know how difficult that is to do, then he made the right decision to do what he needs to do and take care of life off the field before he can be a ballplayer.”
Without Rasmus, and without enough time to get outfielder Joey Rickard to Philadelphia from Triple-A Norfolk, the Orioles were left with a three-man bench Tuesday featuring Danny Valencia, Jace Peterson and Caleb Joseph.
The first two pinch-hit in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, but Showalter said not having Rasmus didn’t influence how he managed in the National League ballpark.
“We were fortunate that Alex gave us a long outing,” Showalter said, noting that he was willing to use Andrew Cashner as a pinch-hitter, had Kevin Gausman able to run, and would have brought former shortstop Mychal Givens in to pitch and hit for himself if need be.
“It didn’t affect us,” Showalter said. “I didn’t think there was a whole lot different we would have done. I like Danny off of [Tommy] Hunter. Not tonight. We’ll add a player tomorrow and get back tomorrow closer to full strength.”