Jump to content

Ankiel the outfielder


Discrim

Recommended Posts

I don't have a link, but I heard at another board that Rick Ankiel's decided to quit pitching and try to make the Cards as an outfielder. Guess he didn't think he was doing as well as it looked like he was...i know he can hit some, but I'm not real sure about this move.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

this sounds fishy....until I saw it on the Cardinals Site. Feels like an April's fools joke...but its too early. They've talked about this before, because he is a pretty good hitter. Perhaps if works on hitting more, he'll develop into a decent outfielder. It does help the team out as the outfield is ancient. Plus, he's a lefty with power. Always good.

Look for the Cardinals to pick up another Righty out of the pen or a starter.

Dangit. I thought we had 6 decent starters coming into this year now we start the year off with 4. Danny Haren come back!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ankiel as a hitter

Rick Ankiel's athletic ability makes his move from the mound to the outfield an option, and his hitting background, as both a professional and as an amateur, indicate his move to the outfield has a small chance of succeeding.

As a major leaguer, Ankiel is 18-for-87, including a .250/.292/.382 season in 2000, when he went 11-7, 3.50 on the mound. Ankiel also homered twice that season, which is when his control problems cropped up in the playoffs.

When his wildness forced him out of the big leagues in 2001, the Cardinals dropped Ankiel to Rookie-level Johnson City in the Appalachian League to clear his head. As a 22-year-old, Ankiel pitched and hit for Johnson City and hit .286-10-35, striking out 26 times in 105 at-bats. If he had qualified, he would have led the league with a .638 slugging percentage.

In 1997, as a high school senior, Ankiel played for USA Baseball's junior national team, which won a bronze medal in the World Championships. The roster included future big leaguers such as Reds outfielder Austin Kearns, Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday and Twins infielder Michael Cuddyer. Kearns led the team in hitting and Cuddyer topped the club in home runs and RBI. Ankiel, meanwhile, was the team's fourth-leading batter, hitting .387-3-16 in 62 at-bats.

"At the time, (Rick) was as good a hitter as he was a pitcher," said Paul Seiler, CEO of USA Baseball and the general manager of the U.S. Junior national team in '97. "He's athletic enough to do it; he flipped between pitching and first base for us with Austin Kearns, who was considered more of a pitcher in high school. He was a smooth hitter who could go yard at any time. He was hitting against legit guys in our trials like Ryan Anderson, Matt Riley, Corey Vance, Kearns ... It would be a great story if he were able to become a contributor as a hitter."

-- John Manuel, Baseball America

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, the cardinals have to keep him on the active roster or lose him. He can't go to the minors. Which might be a part of his thinking. Cause he knows if they have to keep him active or he is automatically a unrestricted free agent. Its cause of his free agency this past year. I bet either the Cardinals talk him out of it, or he'll take up a roster spot all year. I just can't see them cutting him.

This makes me wish Haren stayed and Ankiel went in the Muelder trade.

Edit, if he doesn't make the active roster, he has to clear waivers before going down in the Cardinals organization...or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This really comes as no surprise to me. It's been talked about before and apparently he's got enough talent to stay on the roster as a pinch hitter and platoon fielder. I'm comfortable with this arrangement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ankiel is out of "options". That means he can't be sent back down to the minors without clearing waivers.

Now that he is no longer, he's less likely to be picked up on waivers. Thus, one of two things could happen if he were to be sent down:

1. He works on becoming a real solid outfielder in the minors.

2. He goes back to pitching and this quiting pitching thing was just a ploy to get him to clear waivers.

I don't think they'd do number 2, but this whole thing has me stunned. He was SO close to being back in form. I'd love to keep him as a fielder, but now I'm not sure where he fits.

So far we have four pretty much guranteed bench slots: Taguchi, Cedeno, Mabry, and Diaz. Mabry can play the infield corners too (and he's working at being our third catcher), but those first three guys play the outfield. Chances are/were that the last bench slot was going to go to a backup infielder. The only real way we can have another outfielder is if we trade one (Cedeno would be most likely) or carry a sixth bench player and one less pitcher. I've personally been hoping Gall would make the team as our sixth bench player, but now I just have no idea.

Wow...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yeah, but Kieshnick's switch was the other way around-from OF bust to reliever-PH. Rick's got some precedence, though: the man considered arguably the greatest of the Redbirds, Stan Musial, was originally a pitcher who played outfield when he wasn't doing the former. however, he injured his shoulder in the minors and was never the same pitcher, so he stuck with the outfield (the injury occurred while playing OF-he used to do a little somersault after making a catch. why? ironically enough, to protect his pitching arm. the injury happened due to one such somersault). Cards fans won't argue with the results, though.

edit: oh yeah...and that guy named George :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Just un update, Ankiel cleared waivers and he will begin playing in AA ball. Interesting, and considering the Cardinals Outfield prospects...he's probably instantly be the top of them. That's really really bad. If he makes it, I'll be happy for him, considering our outfield situation in general (average age 84) a 25 year old lefty could be a good thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.