Rasmus assigned to minor league camp

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

JUPITER, Fla. -- Colby Rasmus, considered the St. Louis Cardinals' center fielder of the future, was reassigned to the minor league camp Monday.

The move, made a day before the team's lone day off this spring, clears the way for former pitcher Rick Ankiel to be the opening day starter in center field. Ankiel, batting .362 with three home runs and seven RBIs, will fill a position manned by Jim Edmonds the last six seasons.

Rasmus, 21, the team's first-round draft pick in 2005, batted .273 with a .439 on-base percentage bolstered by a team-leading 12 walks. He had been anticipating the move.

"He's gotten a lot of at-bats for a young man because he's been impressive," manager Tony La Russa said. "You can tell he's had a full minor league season, and his game is coming together."

The Cardinals also optioned right-handers Mike Parisi and Jason Motte plus outfielder Joe Mather to Class AAA Memphis. Right-hander Clayton Mortensen and catcher Mark Johnson were reassigned to the minor league camp.

-- AP

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