This time of year, we are deluged with the “I’m in the best shape of my career” types of articles that can usually be taken with a grain of salt. In the case of the St. Louis Cardinals’ Colby Rasmus, it looks to be true.
Through different preparation and a new approach at the plate a different Rasmus will emerge in 2011. His father Tony Rasmus explained this at The Cardinal Nation Blog. In 2010, Colby reported to camp at 205-210 pounds, but the 23-year-old is currently down to 180 on his way to his target for next spring, 175.
The Cardinals apparently want the left-handed hitting centerfielder to cut down on his strikeouts and become a .300 hitter by increasing his contact rate, going the other way, slapping balls to left field. Tony Rasmus commented that the expectation is that his son may not hit 10 home runs in this role.
Other than the 3-4-5 hitters of Albert Pujols-Matt Holliday-Lance Berkman, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has not divulged his regular 2011 lineup. The “new” Rasmus could be the second-place hitter, but if so, his stolen bases will be limited since the club doesn’t like first base open with Pujols up.
Watch for signals in spring training, but taking this at face value, I would bump down Rasmus’ projected home runs and RBI and increase runs scored and batting average expectations.