© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

05/24/08 11:17 PM ET

Mather won't see Majors soon

No room in St. Louis for red-hot outfield prospect

LOS ANGELES -- Joe Mather is obliterating the Pacific Coast League, but don't look for him to bring his act to the Majors any time soon.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Saturday that as things currently stand, he could see no viable way to get Mather onto the big league roster. Entering Saturday's game against Nashville, Mather was batting .302 with a .404 on-base percentage, a .647 slugging percentage and 10 home runs in 116 at-bats.

However, the Cardinals have four outfielders already getting near-regular playing time, and a fifth (Brian Barton) who has stagnated at least partly due to sparse at-bats.

"I wouldn't even discuss him, because there is no role for him," La Russa said. "How can he have a role? I'm sitting Ryan Ludwick today. So what's [Mather's] role? To sit?"

Other possibilities included trimming the roster to 11 pitchers or sending out a non-outfield position player, but La Russa dismissed those notions as well.

"As it is now, these guys are scuffling for playing time," La Russa said. "I'm having trouble getting Barton at-bats. So Mather comes, [and then what]? He needs to play. This is a great experience for him. He's helping the Triple-A team, and he's helping himself."

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.