ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had little to say Tuesday regarding recent comments by Cincinnati broadcaster Marty Brennaman. The longtime voice of the Reds took some verbal jabs at the Cardinals following the weekend series between the two clubs.

According to Cincinnati.com, Brennaman referred to Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter as a "whiner and excuse-maker," and to "infantile pitching coach" Dave Duncan. La Russa clearly found the remarks irritating, but remained measured in his response.

"I think the safest thing to say is he [Brennaman] is a Hall of Famer, and he should get the respect that inclusion in that place deserves," La Russa said. "And then he ought to earn it every day from his Hall of Fame induction forward. He ought to earn it and not abuse it."

Rasmus out again, but should return soon

ST. LOUIS -- Colby Rasmus sat out another game on Tuesday due to abdominal discomfort, but the Cardinals outfielder appears to be very close to a return to the starting lineup.

Rasmus met with team medical personnel on Monday. In the evaluation, it was determined that he's dealing with nothing more serious than a muscle strain in his midsection, which counts as a relief to both player and team.

"I knew it was kind of iffy [to play Tuesday], but I felt good," he said. "I guess we're just giving it another day just to make sure. Because I'd definitely rather be out another day than [longer]."

Manager Tony La Russa was making no guarantees that Rasmus will return on Wednesday, but still acknowledged that it should happen sooner than later.

"I know he's feeling better," La Russa said, "and when he's green-lighted, then we'll figure out when to play him."

Craig back at second with Garcia on mound

ST. LOUIS -- A day after manager Tony La Russa went to unusual lengths to keep Allen Craig from being his starting second baseman, Craig was back at the unfamiliar position on Tuesday. A nagging injury to infielder Nick Punto left the Cardinals short a man, and led to Craig making his second start at the keystone.

Punto is dealing with soreness in his right (throwing) elbow. It's unclear how long he'll be unavailable.

With Punto out, Daniel Descalso got the start at third base behind left-hander Jaime Garcia. That left Craig to play second, because La Russa wants the right-handed hitter's bat in the starting lineup. Craig also started at second five days earlier, in Garcia's last start.

"The ball should go mostly to the left side," La Russa said, "so I'd like to get [Craig's] bat in there for three at-bats, probably."

On Monday, the Cardinals started Albert Pujols at third base, moving Punto to second, Craig to right field and Lance Berkman to first.

Schumaker off to Florida for rehab assignment

ST. LOUIS -- Skip Schumaker expects to head to Florida on Wednesday to begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment, a move he hopes could have him back on the Cardinals' active roster as soon as the coming weekend.

Schumaker has been sidelined since April 15 due to a strained right triceps muscle, but has been building up his activity in recent days. On Monday he was cleared to progress even further. He will participate in extended spring training games rather than going to one of the club's in-season Minor League affiliates.

"I think I'll probably lead off every inning for two or three days, get 15 or 20 at-bats I guess, and see how I feel," he said. "Should be good."

Manager Tony La Russa preached a little more caution regarding Schumaker.

"You don't want a guy to come in and not be ready, and all of a sudden be pushing physically, timing-wise," La Russa said. "So we'll give him what he needs. But I don't think he's that far away. However long, a week, 10 days, two weeks, we can get by."

Tidbits

• La Russa said Tuesday that he does not expect to play Pujols at third base very often at all. It remains an occasional option, but is not likely to happen with any real frequency.

• Brian Tallet reported to Class A Quad Cities on Tuesday to begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment. Tallet is recovering from a broken bone in his right (non-throwing) hand.

• La Russa said he came through Monday's game feeling fine. It was his first game back in the dugout since missing a week to recover from a case of shingles.

Baby birds

• Triple-A Memphis enjoyed a walk-off win Monday thanks to Donovan Solano's pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 14th inning as the Redbirds outlasted Fresno, 5-4.

• Alex Castellanos homered and drove in three runs for Double-A Springfield as the Cardinals drubbed Arkansas, 12-6. Eric Duncan also added two RBIs to go with a pair of doubles.

• Class A Palm Beach spotted starting pitcher John Gast with a four-run lead in the third inning, but the left-hander could not hold off Tampa as the Cardinals lost, 8-4. Edgar Lara doubled and drove in two runs.

• Class A Quad Cities had a scheduled off-day on Monday.