Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Ankiel a Bust?

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ankiel is an outfielder, effective immediately.

This comes as a complete surprise to me, although it does not surprise me that his problems this Spring may have been even worse than they were letting on. The fact that his first start was moved back twice, then changed to a B game, then to a relief appearance were all bad indicators.

Personally, I'm a little bit miffed about this. The Cardinals kept faith in Ankiel for the past four years, hoping he would come back some day. They didn't trade him two years ago when other teams were asking about him. Their return? Apparently, he has decided (on his own) to give up pitching and switch to the outfield.

Let's see - Ankiel is out of options, and thus will have to either clear waivers or stay on the active roster. The Cardinals currently have 3 outfielders on their bench, making it uncertain as to how there will even be room for Ankiel in the first place. And, of course, there is the fact that he hasn't had a major league hit since the 2000 season, when he hit .250/.292/.382 over 68 at-bats.

I guess it's possible that Ankiel will continue to work on pitching, but it doesn't sound like it. If he's serious about giving up pitching, it's probably time for the Cardinals to go ahead and place him on waivers to see what happens. If they lose him, they lose him. At this point - especially if he's given up pitching - I don't see any value in keeping him anyway.

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