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Astros designate Rick Ankiel for assignment

May 6, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT

Rick Ankiel AP

The Astros, sitting at 8-24 in last place in the AL West, have designated outfielder Rick Ankiel for assignment, tweets Houston Chronicle beat writer Brian T. Smith. It was one of a handful of moves the Astros made day, also designating Fernando Martinez for assignment, calling up Jimmy Paredes and Trevor Crowe, demoting Brandon Laird to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and activating J.D. Martinez from the disabled list.

Though Ankiel had five home runs and a .731 OPS in 65 trips to the plate, he was hitting .194 with a .231 on-base percentage, about as all or nothing as you can get at the Major League level. In late April, Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated highlighted Ankiel’s “three true outcomes” approach:

In fact, it would be more accurate to describe Ankiel as a One True Outcome player. Yes, he has five home runs, but he has just one walk. Rather 28 of his 34 True Outcomes, a whopping 82 percent, have been strikeouts. Having struck out in his only two official at-bats on Thursday night, Ankiel has now struck out 28 times in 45 plate appearances, or 62 percent of the time he steps into the batter’s box. Not only would that be a record for strikeout percentage by a non-pitcher in a minimum of 45 plate appearances if the season (or Ankiel’s involvement in it) ended today, it means that Ankiel is striking out more often that Cust accomplished any of the Three True Outcomes in the most extreme TTO season in major league history.

Updating those figures as of today, Ankiel has the five home runs, three walks, and 35 strikeouts, representing 66 percent of his plate appearances. The Astros have been outscored by 75 runs in 32 games, so the decision to DFA Ankiel is quite understood.

It may be the 33-year-old’s last hurrah as he hasn’t shown any signs of improvement and teams have little use for a player who can’t get on base at least 30 percent of the time, particularly one that strikes out 12 times for every one walk.

  1. tfbuckfutter - May 6, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Can’t MLB just designate the Astros and Marlins for assignment?

    • billyboots - May 7, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      As much as I hate soccer, I wish they could be relegated to Triple A like they do with the two lowest teams in the Premier League.

  2. icanspeel - May 6, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Astros might as well just have their top 25 prospects on their MLB team to try and develop them since they aren’t going anywhere with any of the veterans on the team.

    • flamethrower101 - May 6, 2013 at 7:26 PM

      What veterans? Are you referring to the coaching staff?

    • paperlions - May 6, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      That isn’t how development works.

  3. Caught Looking - May 6, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    The Astros might be better to convert Ankiel back to a pitcher at this point.

  4. jsally430 - May 6, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    start warming up the left arm

  5. cackalackyank - May 6, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    This is interesting…so far the Yankees have at least kicked the tires on quite a few of the DFA’d players this (early) season. Admittedly Curtis Granderson is the closest to returning of the injured NYY players, but I think it will be another confirmation he’s done if he doesn’t get a sniff from one of the NY teams.

    • genericcommenter - May 6, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      The Yankees tend to place a premium on on-base skills, unless the player is signed for marketing purposes. Not sure he has that going for him.

  6. mlenenski - May 6, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Seems like Ankiel’s strikeout ratio would make him a perfect fit for the Braves this season… has anyone seen BJ Upton and Dan Uggla’s strikeout stats lately?

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