Colby Rasmus may have a one-way ticket out of St. Louis this off-season, if the reports are true he’s unhappy with the Cardinals. 

Rasmus has denied asking to be traded back in July, but Albert Pujols made a pointed comment this weekend that if Rasmus didn’t want to play for the Cardinals, then he should be traded.

Tony La Russa was also quoted as saying it’s up to management, not Rasmus or his teammates, to decide whether he remains in St. Louis.

One thing is for certain: the Cardinals shouldn’t have trouble finding willing trade partners. 

Rasmus only just turned 24 on Aug. 11, and, as I write this, he has an .848 OPS.  Not many center fielders hit like that at any age.

As for Rasmus’ center field defense, the only thing I can say for certain is fangraphs’ UZR ratings don’t tell you jack.

According to UZR, Rasmus was a great defensive center fielder in 2009 and a poor one in 2010.  It’s possible, but I doubt the accuracy of UZR more than I tend to think that Rasmus really declined so steeply in from 2009 to 2010.

If I were the Cardinals, I wouldn’t get rid of Rasmus unless it’s really clear that he’s unhappy and likely to be a future cancer.  He’s too promising to send away otherwise.


A new Marlin

A 28-year-old rookie from the Dominican named Adalberto Mendez won his first major league start tonight as the Marlins beat the Phillies tonight 7-1.  I love these kind of September stories.

I really don’t think Mendez is good enough to have much of a major league career.  He came into this season with an unimpressive 3.98 career minor league ERA (although he has better ratios), and this year he was no world beater, mostly at AAA New Orleans (3.98 ERA again).

However, Mendez was good enough tonight and beat the Phillies handily in a game the Phillies really needed to win. 

Just because a pitcher has never appeared in the majors before doesn’t necessarily mean he isn’t good enough to shut down one of MLB’s better offenses, at least for one night.


Prior’s comeback journey

Mark Prior struck out two, allowed two hits and a walk but no runs in one inning of work in his first appearance in AAA ball since 2006.

If you haven’t heard, Prior spent a month pitching for the Orange County Flyers in the independent-A Golden Baseball League. 

He made nine appearances there without allowing an earned run.  His line was 11 IP, five hits and five walks allowed and 22 Ks.  Obviously good enough for the Rangers to think Prior was worth another opportunity.

The Oklahoma City RedHawks made the Pacific Coast League play-offs, so one has to think that Prior will get a few more opportunities to pitch at the AAA level before the Rangers decide whether to promote him to the major league team before the end of September.

On the subject of AAA baseball, the Beavers have just finished their season and will apparently be leaving Portland, a Pacific Coast League town for most of the last 108 seasons going back to 1903. 

The Beavers’ ballpark is being retrofitted to lure a Major League Soccer team to Portland.

Since the last round of expansion in 1998, Greater Portland been the largest American metropolitan area without a major league franchise.

Unfortunately, given the current dreadful state of the economy, it will probably be years before another round of major league expansion finally brings a team to Portland.

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