The 21-year-old joins Memphis Redbirds teammates catcher Bryan Anderson (USA) and left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia (World) in the game, scheduled on July 13 at Yankee Stadium. In addition, Double-A Springfield right-hander Jess Todd was named to the USA squad. Rasmus replaces outfielder Denard Span, called up by the parent Minnesota Twins.
Rasmus began the spring with a strong showing in the Cardinals' major league camp, posting a .302/.464/.605 (BA/OBP/SLG) line in 43 at-bats. But, it was not yet his time in a crowded outfield, so he was assigned for his first-ever Triple-A action to start the season.
The outfielder did nothing to shake his reputation as a slow starter in 2008. However, this time, the rough beginning consumed the better part of two months. In April, Rasmus batted .210 and didn't do much more in May, hitting .225 then.
With the warmth of June, Rasmus heated up as well. Last month, the left-handed hitter put together a more familiar Rasmus-like line of .356/.463/.578 for the Redbirds. This included a 35 consecutive game on-base string that was broken over the weekend.
Overall, following the hot streak, Rasmus' season totals are now .259/.361/.418. So, there is more work to be done.
Like Anderson, Rasmus was selected to both the Futures Game and Team USA last season and could be in line for another invitation here in the summer of 2008 as preparations for the Olympics continue.
The Team USA Olympics roster will be finalized on July 16. The club, under Manager Davey Johnson, will play four tune-up games against the Canadian team from August 1-4 before their official contests in Bejing, China from August 13-23.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com
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