Orioles manager Buck Showalter meeting with Colby Rasmus on Saturday


We heard earlier this week that Orioles manager Buck Showalter was planning to visit free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus in Alabama in the near future and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun hears that the meeting is set to go down today.

Showalter isn’t there as part of a recruiting effort, but rather to get a handle on whether Rasmus would be a good fit in Baltimore:

Showalter is meeting with Rasmus to hear what the 28-year-old outfielder has to say and to determine whether he’ll mesh with the current Orioles. There’s no question Rasmus has talent, but he’s shown it only in spurts and he hasn’t been able to maintain consistency. He’s been labeled an underachiever, a brooder and difficult to coach.

Showalter doesn’t care about labels – he’s had plenty of labels slapped on him over the years. But he is insistent on finding players that will buy into his team-first, us-against-the-world, fundamentally sound mentality.

Ultimately, even if Showalter signs off on Rasmus, it doesn’t mean the free agent becomes an Oriole. There are still contractual issues to be worked out and Rasmus could always choose a more lucrative deal elsewhere. Plus the Orioles are eyeing other outfielders as well. But if Showalter is in, a one-year, make-good deal with Rasmus could be enticing for both sides.

It’s hard to blame Showalter for going the extra mile here. A former top prospect with the Cardinals, Rasmus has been maddeningly inconsistent during his career, showing flashes of brilliance at times and looking lost at others. After batting .276 with 22 home runs and an .840 OPS in 2013, he hit just .225 with 18 home runs and a .735 OPS this past season. Strikeouts are a major issue for him, but he has pop in his bat and just turned 28 last August. Assuming Showalter likes the cut of his jib, a match could make sense for all involved. It’s believed that Rasmus is looking at a one-year deal in the range of $6 to $8 million.

Dodgers place pitcher Noah Syndergaard on injured list with no timetable for return

dodgers syndergaard
Katie Stratman/USA TODAY Sports

CINCINNATI — The Los Angeles Dodgers placed pitcher Noah Syndergaard on the 15-day injured list Thursday with a blister on the index finger of his right throwing hand.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the timetable for Syndergaard’s return is unknown despite the 15-day designation.

“The physical, the mental, the emotional part, as he’s talked about, has taken a toll on him,” Roberts said. “So, the ability to get him away from this. He left today to go back to Los Angeles to kind of get back to normalcy.”

Syndergaard allowed six runs and seven hits in three innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night, raising his ERA to 7.16.

Syndergaard (1-4) has surrendered at least five runs in three straight starts.

Syndergaard has been trying to return to the player he was before Tommy John surgery sidelined him for the better part of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Roberts said Syndergaard will need at least “a few weeks” to both heal and get away from baseball and “reset.”

“I think searching and not being comfortable with where he was at in the moment is certainly evident in performance,” Roberts said. “So hopefully this time away will provide more clarity on who he is right now as a pitcher.

“Trying to perform when you’re searching at this level is extremely difficult. I applaud him from not running from it, but it’s still very difficult. Hopefully it can be a tale of two stories, two halves when he does come back.”