Apr 30, 2010, 11:42 AM EST
Rick Ankiel got off to a great start with the Royals, hitting .308 with three homers and three doubles through 11 games, but then went into a 1-for-21 slump that dropped his OPS nearly 250 points and suffered a strained right quadriceps muscle while running out a ground ball Saturday.
Ankiel hasn’t played since the injury, sitting out five straight games, and Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that he’s unlikely to rejoin the lineup before Monday. However, manager Trey Hillman said the Royals aren’t thinking about placing Ankiel on the disabled list because they “want that bat available off the bench as a pinch-hitter.”
Ankiel started 16 of the first 17 games in center field as part of Kansas City’s touted “three center fielders” outfield, but it was really more like a “three corner outfielders who at some point played center field” outfield because Ankiel has never graded out well there and Scott Podsednik doesn’t even look very good in left field at this point.
Not surprisingly the Royals’ outfield has combined for an Ultimate Zone Rating of -2.7 runs this season to rank 19th in baseball, although Ankiel’s center field replacement, Mitch Maier, has actually posted a positive number while filling in this week.
- Former Major Leaguer Gabe Kapler wants concussions to remain part of the game 0
- Carlos Beltran introduced by the Yankees, takes a shot at the Mets 13
- The Grant Balfour-Orioles deal is dead 24
- Kevin Youkilis is going to play in Japan 28
- Report: Rakuten will not allow Masahiro Tanaka come to the United States 64
- Hall of Fame voting expert: Greg Maddux makes it. No one else does. (105)
- Robinson Cano, Yankees trade barbs about “disrespect” (104)
- I don’t know what the best baseball song is, but it ain’t John freakin’ Fogerty (101)
- Happy Birthday, Ty Cobb! (89)
- ‘Tis the season for people acting incredibly dumb (74)