ST. PETERSBURG -- Colby Rasmus has lost his job in center field as the Blue Jays intend to use the final month of the season to evaluate some of their younger players.
Rasmus was informed of the club's decision earlier this week. Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar are expected to receive the bulk of the playing time as they audition for a potential platoon situation next year.
This would appear to mark the end of Rasmus' up-and-down tenure in a Blue Jays uniform. There hasn't been any indication about when he's expected to play, but at most, Rasmus will be used in a part-time role.
"That's pretty much what they said, that I'm going to be sitting around watching these young kids play," said Rasmus, who is set to hit free agency at the end of the season. "Whenever they feel like they want to get me in there, I'll be in there."
Rasmus has been the everyday center fielder since he was acquired from the Cardinals midway through the 2011 season. He got off to a rocky start in Toronto, but he made some progress in 2012 and then had a breakout performance the following season.
The 28-year-old hit .276 with 22 homers, 66 RBIs and an .840 OPS in 118 games. He wasn't able to duplicate that success this season and missed a significant period of time with a hamstring injury. During his absence, Gose and Pillar thrived in a platoon role which led to plenty of speculation that Rasmus was on his way out of town.
"It has been a grind, but every season is a grind and every season has new challenges," Rasmus said. "This year the shift has hurt me pretty good and they've pitched me well into the shift. Even when I did try to make some adjustments, hit the ball the other way, they were getting caught. It was tough and it has been a bit of a grind."