Blue Jays activate Colby Rasmus from disabled list

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After three weeks off due to a right wrist injury, Colby Rasmus was activated from the disabled list by the Blue Jays prior to Friday’s game.

Rasmus is hitting just .216/.239/.398 with three homers and 12 RBI in 23 games since arriving from the Cardinals prior to the deadline.  He appeared to find his stroke in the middle of last month, going 7-for-20 with two homers, three doubles and seven RBI in a five-game span, but he went hitless in his final four games before landing on the DL.

With Rasmus back, the Jays will have to pick between Eric Thames and Adam Loewen for one outfield spot most days.  Loewen has gone 5-for-14 with a homer and three RBI in four starts since his callup earlier this month, so the Jays will likely want to take a longer look at hom, particularly since he’ll be out of options next spring.  Thames has been solid, hitting .265/.314/.457 with 10 homers, but he’s already had 313 at-bats to show what he can do.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

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Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”