Bigbie Heading To Memphis

Ray Mileur catches up with Larry Bigbie, before the outfielder heads to Memphis for a rehabilitation assignment.

Cardinals outfielder Larry Bigbie, who has been out nearly a month with a cracked bone in his left heel, is ready to go out on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment Sunday. Manager Tony La Russa isn't looking for Bigbie to be here anytime soon and hoping the young outfielder will take advantage of the full time allowed by the rules for his rehab assignment.

According to a report filed by Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, a position player on the disabled list is allowed to rehabilitate for 20 days in the minor leagues without actually being assigned there, and La Russa suggested that Bigbie, who played little this spring, would need all that time.

"He's got a lot to do to get ready," La Russa said.

I got up with Larry Bigbie in the clubhouse today.

RM: "Larry it's official now, I guess you have heard you are being sent out on a rehab assignment to Memphis?"

LB: "Yes, I'm leaving Sunday."

RM: "Are you thinking that you are going to stay down there the whole 20 days?"

LB: "I mean it's something I just have to go by you know, I had a conversation with Tony about it. On one side I want him to know, if it was my choice I'd go down and play five games and come right back.

At the same time, I want him to know I want to be back as soon as possible at the same time, if he wants me to stay down there, I will stay, that's fine.

You can go down there for three games and think you feel good , but you don't actually get enough bats to be ready."

RM: "Physically, you actually feel good at this time don't you?"

LB: Physically, I feel great. It's just a matter of, I think the schedule is going to be, I'll play two days and have a day off and kind of work my into it, kind of like how spring training goes. I'll just have to let the trainers know how I feel each day and then it becomes a decision.

Tony said ultimately if I want to come back after five days it becomes my decision.

I want him to know if he wants me to stay down there longer, I'm willing to do that. I don't want to come back too soon and Tony thinks that I came back too soon. I want him to know I want to be here, but I want to respect his decision.

RM: "This move, to send you to Memphis, to me, appears to be the best decision for you, at this time, your opinion.

LB: "I'm going to get my at bats and keep an eye on what's going on back here. I'm sure I'll come back sooner than later if the team needs me.

It's just one of those things where Tony wants to be done with it and get it out of the way so that the injury doesn't linger all season."

Bigbie was acquired from the Colorado Rockies with second baseman Aaron Miles in exchange for pitcher Ray King on December 7, 2005 and was expected to be the Cardinals starting left-fielder.

Larry Bigbie's left foot, was initially diagnosed as tendinitis in his left Achilles' tendon, it was later learned that he had a stress fracture and the initial reports by the organization that he would be out for just two to three weeks, were unrealistic in our opinion, as we reported in March.

Bigbie only played in 10 spring training games this season, hitting just .231 with no home runs and just four RBIs in 22 at bats.

I would suggest, that Cardinal fans can expect Bigbie to stay the entire 20 days allowed for a rehab assignment, at Triple-A Memphis.

The Memphis Redbirds off to an 0-9 start, are still looking for their first win of the season, as of Saturday afternoon. They can use all the help they can get, and Bigbie could provide some pop in the lineup for at least the next three weeks.




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