Saturday, May 24, 2008

No Confirmation on Colby Rasmus Demotion

Springfield Cardinals officials -- traveling to Texas on a week-long road trip -- could not be reached for comment on an MLB rumor that top St. Louis prospect Colby Rasmus would be demoted to Double A Springfield from Triple A Memphis after reports of strife between Rasmus and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

The trouble between La Russa and the 21-year-old outfielder was attributed to an unsubstantiated internet posting in which Rasmus was quoted as complaining about La Russa's and his staff's coaching, which supposedly resulted in the youngster's ongoing batting slump at Memphis. Rasmus' average has fallen to the mid .100s since he was demoted following spring camp.

The posting was later blamed on another member the Rasmus family, giving rise to speculation that Rasmus had been privately expressing his unhappiness to those close to him. But Rasmus later was reported as blaming himself for his troubles at the plate, saying he has failed to modify his swing to use the entire field rather than constantly pulling pitches, as coaches have asked him.

The slump has set back the youngster's goal to contibute to the parent club before the All-Star break, with his callup before September roster expansion now less likely.