Rick Ankiel Has Another Shot To Stay In The MLB: The New York Mets Claimed Him
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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
There are certain players in the MLB that you cheer for more than others. For me, Rick Ankiel exemplifies this.
I always check for his stats in the boxscores early into my perusal of any baseball website.
His story is one of inspiration and dedication to the game of baseball.
I was disappointed when he was released by the Houston Astros – but completely understood why the change had to occur,
The Mets have the weakest Outfield in the Major Leagues and are actually one of the teams I suggested for Ankiel as a landing spot in my post 2012 year write-ups.
It is obvious that the Wilpon’s continue to look for cheap alternative options to patrol their grass.
Rick Ankiel is probably the 2nd best OF on the team as it is and I like this move for him. Terry Collins should play the hell out of the guy out of the gate. If he has any value at all, he could really be a nice piece on the club.
Chances are that Ankiel has no business as a Starter anymore, however he has shown a penchant for clubbing HRs. His defense is also pretty good – and he is amazing to watch when throwing in laser cannons to the INFIELD.
At 33 Years of Age, you would have to say that the man from Fort Pierce, FL does not have many more kicks at the can here. I really hope he can stick with the Mets.
Ankiel has shown that he has a flair for the dramatic. Much like new teammate Jordany Valdespin, he is a great Sub hitter. In 142 At-Bats as a Substitute, Ankiel has 9 HRs and 20 RBI – for a .812 OPS. As a PH, the numbers are even better – with 6 HRs, 14 RBI and an OPS of .852 in 76 At-Bats.
I can see Ankiel being a great defensive replacement/Pinch Hitter on a contending club this fall. I would think a team like the Reds might even be interested as they don’t have a great defensive CF on their current Roster. The coach could simply PH for a the Pitcher as part of a double – switch – and then have the Veteran take the field.
Ankiel would be better served to remain in the NL permanently to do such roles.
The former Pitcher has proven that he can come up with big hits at times for contenders. He has been part of pennant races with the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves in years past. I even think he sort of received a raw deal by the Nationals last season. I guess Davey Johnson is happy with having Chad Tracy PH for him all of the time.
As a Pinch – Hitter, managers are looking for that one lucky strike that may alter the course of the game. It is okay to carry a low Batting Average – as long as you carry the pop to smack a Roundtripper once in a while.
What us great about Ankiel, is that he has played in the MLB as a position player and a Pitcher. It is almost like having another coach on the field.
Ankiel has inspired other former pitchers to try their luck as a hitter like Adam Loewen (a former 1st Round Draft Pick of the Baltimore Orioles 9 – 8 Record as a Starting Pitcher with a 5.38 ERA in 29 GS from 2006 – 2008 before chronic injuries forced him to retire as a chucker. Loewen is in the Minors for the Toronto Blue Jays currently – and did hit 1 HR for the Canadian franchise during the 2011 year.)
I sincerely hope the day that this man retires – that he is given his full due credit for accomplishing such a rare feat in the Majors for both being a Rookie of the Year candidate as a Starting Pitcher – to a Major League Hitter that has stuck around in the game for 11 years plus!
Chuck Booth – Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames: To learn more about my “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here .
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Posted on May 14, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2010 NLDS, adam loewen, at and t park, Atlanta Braves, baltimore orioles, barry bonds, busch stadium, Chuck Booth, houston astros, jason giambi, jon niese, jordany valdespin, kansas city royals, matt stairs, new york mets, Rick Ankiel, st louis cardinals, St. Louis, terry collins, toronto blue jays, Ty Wigginton, washington nationals, wilpons. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.