JUPITER, Fla. -- Infielders and outfielders only formally began working out on Saturday, and already manager Tony La Russa is fielding lineup questions.
Three spots in La Russa's regular lineup appear pretty much set for the time being. Albert Pujols is going to hit third. Matt Holliday will bat cleanup. For now, La Russa is committed to Lance Berkman hitting in the fifth spot, and there's virtually no way that Yadier Molina or David Freese will hit in the top two positions. That still leaves three regulars with irregular, or at least, undetermined batting order positions.
Either Ryan Theriot or Skip Schumaker will bat leadoff, with the other likely either hitting second or at the bottom of the order. Colby Rasmus, meanwhile, could hit second or sixth.
In fact, Rasmus is probably the biggest variable. If he makes the most sense in the No. 2 spot, that would presumably bump Theriot or Schumaker to the No. 8 hole (or ninth, if La Russa were to decide to return his pitcher to the eighth spot).
"I think a lot of Colby early in the lineup would have to do with his being more consistent with his strike zone," La Russa said. "He has periods where his strike zone is really good and he takes his walks and if you throw him a strike, he bangs it. He's in his third year, and I think you're going to see an improvement. But he's one of those talents, you can hit him anywhere."