ANAHEIM, Calif. — In talking to several Rays players Friday, there was a general sense of mild surprise over OF Colby Rasmus' decision to "step away" from the game, and there was compassion that whatever led him to do so gets resolved.
"Obviously you knew he was going through some stuff, not being around the clubhouse," 3B Evan Longoria said. "More importantly, it's best for him to sort the family stuff out, the personal, whatever it is that he's dealing with is more important than baseball. I'm sure it's a tough decision, but I respect it. And I respect that he wants his privacy and that he wants to make it a nonissue."
Rasmus, 30, had been on the disabled list since June 19 due to ongoing issues with his surgically repaired left hip, having also missed the first month. The Rays placed him on the restricted list, which is not paid, but provided no details in deference to Rasmus' privacy; neither Rasmus nor his agent has yet commented. Speculation is his decision was some combination of frustration over the injury and wanting to spend more time with his family. None of the players interviewed said they knew any specifics.
"I was surprised in that I didn't know he had things going on," RHP Alex Cobb said, "but when you hear about how clear of a decision it was for him, and how happy he was to finally come to peace with it, then it kind of settles in a little easier."
DH Corey Dickerson said Rasmus reached out last week to congratulate him for making the All-Star team but didn't share much.
"We were hoping we were going to get him back because he provides a lot to the team, so it's unfortunate, but we support him," Dickerson said. "Whatever he's got going on, we wish him the best."
Quote of the day
"He was one of the most interesting people I've ever been around. And I believe that's the best way to put it."
Cobb, on Rasmus
The Cobb who lost to the Angels May 23 at the Trop and the Cobb taking the mound tonight are two fairly different pitchers, in what he's doing and how he's doing it. "I feel a lot more confident, that's the biggest thing," Cobb said. "I told you guys I'm not completely back. But I feel like with what I am taking into each and every game I've really learned how to work with what I have and compete throughout the game and work deeper into games and keep my team in it, for the most part. So from that moment to now I feel like I've grown quite a bit with the confidence."
Rays 1B Logan Morrison didn't let his hard feelings over being snubbed by a "flawed system" that determined the participants keep him from enjoying watching the All-Star Home Run Derby. He raved about winner Aaron Judge's power, complimented Justin Bour for being entertaining and said C Gary Sanchez — who he had suggested didn't deserve to be there — did well in ousting defending champ Giancarlo Stanton. But, Morrison said, "Whoever wins is the paper champion in my book."
Number of the day
9 Players who have been on the active roster all season: pitchers Chris Archer, Cobb, Alex Colome, Erasmo Ramirez; catcher Jesus Sucre; infielders Longoria, Morrison; outfielders Dickerson, Steven Souza Jr.
• Cash said INF Daniel Robertson, on the DL with what the team called neck spasms, is feeling better after treatment and could resume baseball activity next week. Per a Facebook post by Robertson's mother, he has occipital neuralgia, a condition webmd.com says is caused by the occipital nerves being inflamed or injured and can create intense pain in the back of the head and neck.
• Fox Sports Sun added three games to its broadcast schedule: Monday at Oakland, July 26 vs. O's, Aug. 24 vs. Jays.
• INF Tim Beckham (left ankle sprain) remains on track to be activated Sunday but Cash said that may depend on how Friday and today go.
• The Rays' top draft pick, LHP/1B Brendan McKay, joined short-season Class A Hudson Valley and is expected to make his pro debut next week.