Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus is headed to the bereavement list, and heralded outfielder Domingo Santana will take his spot on the Astros’ 25-man roster, effective Tuesday, the club announced after Monday’s 6-3 win against Colorado.
A bereavement list visit means Rasmus will miss at least three games but no more than seven games, as he deals with his grandmother’s recent passing.
“Colby will be unavailable for the remainder of this [four-game] series,” manager A.J Hinch said. “He’s asked for some privacy on this. It’s a very close-knit family of his, so keep them in your thoughts.”
Rasmus belted a three-run homer during Monday night’s game against the Rockies to give the Astros a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The starting nod was just his seventh start of the month in 14 games, and it was his first long ball since May 19 — a span of 20 games.
For about an hour on Monday night, speculation was rampant after it was reported that Santana was called up, and no corresponding move had been announced. Had the Astros traded for a starting pitcher? Sent down Jake Marisnick, who has cooled off since a blistering April? Traded Rasmus?
Instead, it was a fairly benign move for a team whose biggest trades could still be several weeks away.
Santana does come in with a track record at the MLB level. Unfortunately, it’s one he might like to forget. The right-handed slugger was 0-for-17 with 14 strikeouts in six games with the Astros last year.
He’s again earned his stripes at the minor-league level this season, with a .320/.444/.584 line at Triple-A Fresno while leading the team with 11 homers and 38 RBI. He’s also cut his strikeout rate to a sustainable 23%, something he’ll need to carry over for his latest shot with the big-league club.