One of the reasons St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus is expected to take the next step forward this season is because of a change in his mental approach. At least, that's what both he and manager Tony La Russa think. "I got hot at the beginning of the season last year. I felt good, and I felt comfortable," Rasmus told me on Monday night. "Then toward the end of the season I kind of wore down a little bit mentally and physically. I got a little tired, and had some injuries going on. This year coming in, I felt better all-around, having a year under my belt and not being a rookie anymore. I can come in and do my thing, and know I'm going to be in the lineup. "Mentally, I'm more ready to come in every day and play, not thinking about other stuff and things I can't control. If you're struggling, you can really have it on your mind, and I'm doing a better job of keeping it out of my mind and staying positive mentally."