HOUSTON -- Outfielder Colby Rasmus could rejoin the Astros' lineup as early as Tuesday, less than three weeks after he underwent surgery to remove a cyst in his right ear. Rasmus went through an intense workout before Monday's 6-0 win against the A's, and manager A.J. Hinch said he would be assessed following the workout.
Because there are so few games remaining, the Astros plan to plug Rasmus right back in without the benefit of a Minor League rehab assignment. Rasmus was in a 3-for-66 slump before going on the disabled list because of the ear problem, which clearly affected his performance.
"With all things considered, I hope to be able to come back and definitely help give us a boost and to play some good baseball and get to hitting the way I that I can," Rasmus said. "I feel good and there's excitement in my mind and my heart to want to play, and I'm excited about that. I'm looking forward to the time to get to where I can get out there, but I don't want to do too much because playing the game, there's going to be some soreness involved, but I feel I put my body through a pretty good test the last few days and it feels good."
The prolonged slump dropped Rasmus' average to .211, 30 points below his career average. He has 12 homers and 48 RBIs in 90 games, and the Astros could certainly use his left-handed bat.
"We've toyed with the idea whether or not he needs a rehab assignment," Hinch said. "He's one of our more veteran players and may be able to jump right back into the competition, but we'll know a little bit more about his readiness after batting practice [Monday]."
Left field has been a revolving door for the Astros since Rasmus went down, with Teoscar Hernandez and Marwin Gonzalez getting most of the at-bats recently. Tony Kemp and Preston Tucker have also seen time in left in the last couple of weeks.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.