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Astros release outfielder Rick Ankiel

May 9, 2013, 6:44 PM EDT

Rick Ankiel AP AP

This hardly comes as a surprise, but Sara Eckert of reports that the Astros have officially released outfielder Rick Ankiel.

Ankiel was designated for assignment earlier this week as part of a mini-roster shakeup and passed through waivers unclaimed. While the 33-year-old outfielder ranked second on the Astros with five home runs, he was batting just .194 with a .234 on-base percentage and had a miserable 35/3 K/BB ratio in 65 plate appearances. That’s a strikeout rate of 53.8 percent. Yikes.

That Ankiel was dumped by the worst team in the American League doesn’t bode well for his chances of finding an opportunity elsewhere. Still, he’s had a heck of a career for someone who appeared done in his early 20s.

  1. icanspeel - May 9, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    5 home runs in 65 plate appearances? Might fit as an all or nothing guy off the bench for a team late in a game.

    • fearlessleader - May 9, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      I think I speak for most Cardinal fans when I say that I’d give him Ty Wigginton’s roster spot right now with no questions asked.

      • deep64blue - May 10, 2013 at 5:30 AM

        Ty Wigginton is still on a big league roster, wow!

      • stlouis1baseball - May 10, 2013 at 9:44 AM

        Yes…or perhaps Mitchell Boggs’ spot…or Scrabble’s spot.
        Shit…those spots are currently filled.

  2. mazblast - May 9, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    His sports biography will be one of the few I may be interested in reading. His family, his meteoric rise and fall as a pitcher, rebuilding himself as a position player, not your average athlete.

    • tuberippin - May 9, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      I believe they call that the reverse Brooks Kieschnick

  3. phipfwe76 - May 9, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    A (probable) sad end, but from where he was a decade ago, he has nothing to be ashamed of.

  4. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - May 9, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    what a great story. i don’t look at his career as a “what if?” story, although he was fearsome that year in st louis. he should be proud of himself.

  5. turdfurgerson68 - May 9, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    He should try pitching again…what’s he got to lose?

    He could play another decade as a middle reliever/setup.

    C’mon Rick, the arm is sound; its all in your head.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 10, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      You hit it furgeson. See my post above in regards to Boggs and Scrabble.

  6. scatterbrian - May 9, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Awesome stat: Ankiel had a 25.9% strikeout rate as a pitcher and as a hitter.

    • paperlions - May 10, 2013 at 7:13 AM

      So… a hitter, he turned every pitcher into Rick Ankiel.

  7. bigharold - May 9, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    If this is the end, Ankiel is a great example of never giving up and slugging it out to the bitter end. He certainly didn’t have the career that one dreams of but he can take solace in the fact that he gave it everything he had.

  8. vallewho - May 9, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    I bet someone picks him up and tries to tinker with him. Hope it works out.

    • Old Gator - May 9, 2013 at 10:32 PM

      Welcome to Macondo, Rick – at league minimum, you can be bench ballast for the Feesh. Playing before empty seats is a lot like being an old soldier who fades away.

  9. stevedurbano - May 9, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    He should sue LaRussa for ruining his career.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 10, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      He should thank LaRussa for doing everything he could for him.

      There…fixed that for you.

  10. dirtyharry1971 - May 9, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    If this was 5 years ago i would sign him to a minor league deal and get him with the best pitching coach i had cause that was his real talent. At 33 im not sure he has the time to do that

  11. rob0527 - May 9, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    He could try to resurrect his career with the Long Island ducks of the Atlantic league.

  12. seeinred87 - May 10, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    Rick Ankiel is going to go down as one of my favorite players ever, and I mean that. I sincerely hope he gets a job with someone.

  13. bluesfan58 - May 10, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Hope he lands softly, in baseball or elsewhere. He was one of the classiest guys ever when he played for the Cardinals (both the first time, as a pitcher, and later when he was reincarnated as an outfielder). He took out a full page ad in the local paper to thank the fans when the Cards finally moved him, which was a nice gesture. Despite his meltdown as a pitcher, I will never forget being there for his first game back in the bigs after working his way up through the minors, when he hit a home run that had the crowd going nuts. He also made, in one game later that year, two of the damnedest throws from the outfield to catch runners trying to advance 2nd to 3rd on one play and 3rd to home on another — absolute bullet strikes from deep center. Best of luck Rick!

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