Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/01/09

After grabbing an early lead, then falling back, Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus is back in the NL Rookie of the Year chase.

INSIDE PITCH

 

Rookie center fielder Colby Rasmus, whose average recently plummeted from the .280s to below .250, has lifted it back up to .255 again with back-to-back multi-hit games.

 

Rasmus has had to overcome illness in his first big-league season, and perhaps he hasn't quite overcome it completely. Rasmus, 23, suffered a stomach ailment that turned out to be a hiatal hernia. He admitted his first big-league season "had been more stressful than I thought it would be. I've been stressed out a lot."

 

Even after his ailment was diagnosed, Rasmus hasn't been able to eat much because he hasn't been hungry. His weight has dropped to 185 pounds from the 215 or so he was carrying in the spring.

 

"That's worse than bad," Rasmus said. "That's terrible. It's a problem."

 

Rasmus has shown the power expected of him, hitting 14 home runs, and he has fielded well, too. But he has stolen just three bases in four attempts. A lot of that, though, has to do with hitting second in front of Albert Pujols, who usually doesn't want runners in motion when he's hitting.

 

Manager Tony La Russa said of Rasmus, "He's really got great legs. As he gets more experience, he can be a 30- or 40-bag guy."

 

NOTES, QUOTES

 

• Manager Tony La Russa said the club was considering bringing up a left-handed reliever. That probably would be Royce Ring, who was 5-1 with a 2.44 ERA at Memphis. Ring was in camp with the Cardinals this spring but was outrighted to Memphis before the start of the season.

 

La Russa said the other call-ups likely would wait until the Memphis season ends and will depend on whether the Redbirds, who lead their division, are in the playoffs. For now, the Cardinals will wait on calling up a third catcher. "We've got a list of guys to come up on (Sept. 8, the day after the regular season ends at Memphis)," La Russa said. "But they've got a legitimate shot (to win the division title). We've messed around enough with them."

 

• On Tuesday night at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals will begin their first of three series left this season with Milwaukee. The Brewers have won nine of the last 10 games played at Busch dating to last season.

 

• Rookie CF Colby Rasmus, who hit a 444-foot, three-run homer on Saturday, went from first to third on 1B Albert Pujols' infield single in the fourth inning Sunday to set up the game's first run. Pujols then drove in Rasmus with the second run in the sixth. Manager Tony La Russa said of Rasmus, "He's really got great legs. As he gets more experience, he can be a 30- or 40-bag guy."

 

• Manager Tony La Russa announced Sunday that rookie RHP Mitchell Boggs, who worked six innings in a win on Saturday, will get another start next Saturday in Pittsburgh. "Absolutely," said La Russa, impressed with Boggs' stint in which he walked just one. RHP Kyle Lohse (strained left hamstring) still will be on the disabled list until the next day.

 

By The Numbers:   10—Number of consecutive non-losing (9-0-1) series for the Cardinals as they moved 10 games ahead of the field in their division.

 

Quote To Note:   "When you only get one at-bat, it's a tough assignment."—Infielder Khalil Greene, after tying a game the Cardinals later won with his first pinch-hit homer. Greene, disabled twice with anxiety issues, has lost his SS job to Brendan Ryan but has contributed off the bench.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

• 3B Troy Glaus should be an eligible player for the Cardinals for the first time all season Tuesday night when he is expected to come off the disabled list and be added to the roster on the first day rosters can be expanded. Glaus has been trying to bounce back all season after January surgery on his right shoulder and most recently has been able to play third base at Class AAA Memphis on a medical rehabilitation option. He hit under .200 much of that time.

 

• RHP Mitchell Boggs, who worked six innings in a win over Washington on Sunday, will get the Saturday start at Pittsburgh before RHP Kyle Lohse can come off the disabled list the next day.

 

• RHP Adam Wainwright, who has had 26 straight starts of six innings or more, has a 1.96 ERA for his last 20 starts. He will pitch Friday at Pittsburgh and then Sept. 9 at Milwaukee as the Cardinals hit the road for their second-to-last trip.

 

• CF Colby Rasmus, whose average recently plummeted from the .280s to below .250, has lifted it back up to .255 again with back-to-back multi-hit games. Rasmus has had to overcome illness in his first big-league season and perhaps he hasn't quite overcome it completely. Rasmus, 23, suffered a stomach ailment that turned out to be a hiatal hernia. He admitted his first big-league season "had been more stressful than I thought it would be. I've been stressed out a lot."

 

Medical Watch: 

 

LHP Kyle Lohse (strained groin) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 22. He threw a bullpen session Aug. 27.

 

RHP Todd Wellemeyer (right elbow inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 5. He threw a bullpen session Aug. 25, and made a minor league rehab appearance with Memphis on Monday during which he allowed four earned runs in 2/3 of an inning.

 

3B Troy Glaus (right shoulder surgery in January 2009) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He began a minor league rehab assignment July 11. He was shut down in late July because of recurring back pain. He started a new rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on Aug. 15. He was expected to be activated Sept. 1 but is dealing with an ankle problem.


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