Colby Rasmus has been sidelined for about a month with a right hamstring strain, but he’s getting closer to rejoining the first-place Blue Jays.
John Lott of the National Post reports that Rasmus will begin a minor league rehab assignment tonight with Triple-A Buffalo. He’ll get eased back into things as the designated hitter before playing five innings in center field tomorrow. He’ll then DH again on Saturday before being reevaluated, so it’s possible he could be activated on Sunday or after Monday’s scheduled off-day.
It was mostly feast-or-famine at the plate for Rasmus prior to the injury, as he was hitting .222 with a .266 on-base percentage to go along with nine home runs and .489 slugging percentage over 37 games.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.