Rasmus takes over Cards' leadoff spot
Slumping Schumaker moves to No. 7 in batting order
ST. LOUIS -- Neither Skip Schumaker nor Colby Rasmus feels all that much enthusiasm for their respective new spots in the batting order, but neither is complaining.
With the Cardinals' offense somewhat stagnant, and Schumaker in a monthlong slump, manager Tony La Russa moved Schumaker out of the leadoff spot in his lineup and Rasmus into the No. 1 position. Schumaker, the club's primary leadoff man for the past two-plus seasons, hit seventh on Tuesday.
"When you don't do the job that you're supposed to do, this is what happens," Schumaker said. "I'm just fortunate enough to still be in the lineup and getting an opportunity. But that's the nature of the game. If you don't get the job done in the leadoff spot, someone else is going to have to do it."
Schumaker entered Tuesday's game batting .217 with a .302 on-base percentage. Rasmus, meanwhile, has emerged as more of a power threat this year than he was as a rookie, but he also sports a .430 on-base mark through the weekend.
"Colby's got a good on-base percentage," La Russa said. "He runs well. It still separates our left-handers. So I don't see that big a difference. I'm hoping he's not [trying to be] a power hitter. He's definitely one that hits less when he tries to be powerful."
Rasmus said he won't change a thing, but admitted that hitting at the top of the order is not his preference.
"I ain't going to change nothing," he said. "Just go up there, see the ball, hit the ball. Try to do damage.
"I can say I'd rather hit one than eight. Pretty much all throughout the Minor Leagues, they'd start me off at one. Start me off hitting leadoff, and then I'd usually end up hitting two or three. It's not really my favorite spot, but it [doesn't] really matter. Just going to try to hit the ball. Just try to get on base."
Lopez feels no pain in extensive workout
ST. LOUIS -- Felipe Lopez worked out extensively on Tuesday, his most rigorous work since he was placed on the disabled list two weeks ago. However, Lopez likely remains several days away from being activated.
Lopez said he feels no significant discomfort in his right elbow, where he suffered a strain that sent him to the DL last month. Tuesday marked his first serious throwing since he was shelved, and he still needs to build up strength before he can return to active duty.
"There's no pain," Lopez said. "It's just, like coming back from anything, you just feel like you have to throw more. It's a little weak, that's all."
He's likely healthy enough to hit now, but the club would prefer not to activate Lopez until he can also play the field.
"His arm is such a weapon," manager Tony La Russa said. "He can play short and third. We want to get his arm to where it's not an issue anymore."
It's unclear whether Lopez will go on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment before he returns to the Major League roster.
Holliday back in lineup after two games out
ST. LOUIS -- Matt Holliday returned to the Cardinals' lineup on Tuesday after being held out of the starting nine in the team's previous two games. Holliday was dealing with soreness in his right groin.
"I heard today that he's good to go, so I wrote him in," manager Tony La Russa said.
Part of the issue for Holliday over the weekend in Pittsburgh was the chilly and sometimes damp conditions. That wasn't an issue in St. Louis on Tuesday, with a game-time temperature hovering around 80 degrees. Still, Holliday remains in the watch-closely category for La Russa.
"You're not going to feel comfortable unless you pay attention to it," the manager said. "We don't want that to be a lingering problem."
La Russa to appear on 'Housecat Housecall'
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa will appear on an upcoming episode of Animal Planet's "Housecat Housecall," as he and show host Katrina Warren attempt to determine whether a cat is fit for work as a therapy cat.
The episode is set at La Russa's beloved Animal Rescue Foundation, his San Francisco Bay Area organization that helps find homes for stray and abandoned animals. La Russa's daughter Bianca has a cat named Ducati that serves as a therapy cat. The question was whether his other daughter, Devon, also had a cat that could do therapy work.
"That's why it's got a chance to be a good show," he said. "It highlights the cats and their wonderfulness."
Albert Pujols took early batting practice on Tuesday afternoon, swinging along with Felipe Lopez, who was working out as he tries to return from an elbow injury. ... Manager Tony La Russa returned the pitcher to the No. 8 spot in the batting order on Tuesday after batting his pitchers ninth for the previous 13 games. ... Tuesday begins one of two three-game homestands for the Cardinals this year. The other comes Sept. 3-5, with three games against Cincinnati.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.