i guess i am not completely surprised, just really disappointed. it seemed like he was making some progress....
Cards move Ankiel to outfield By Joe Strauss Of the Post-Dispatch 03/09/2005
Rick Ankiel (AP)
JUPITER, Fla. -- Cardinals lefthander Rick Ankiel, once deemed the game's most promising young arm, will convert from pitcher to outfielder, effective immediately.
The Cardinals confirmed the move Wednesday morning shortly after rain washed out what was scheduled to be Ankiel's spring debut in a B game against the Florida Marlins.
The unexpected announcement comes after Ankiel gave a promising September showing in the Redbirds bullpen followed by a credible performance as a starter in the Puerto Rican winter league. The winter league stint was cut short by elbow tenderness.
This spring, Ankiel has struggled with command and had been pulled from pitchers field drills before experiencing erratic command in batting practice.
Ankiel won 11 games as a rookie in 2000 before suffering a loss of command during the postseason. Hindered by elbow reconstruction surgery, he took nearly three seasons to make his return to the major leagues.
The Cardinals plan to immediately integrate Ankiel into their outfield.
Because he is out of options, Ankiel must either make the club or be put through waivers.
STLtoday.com will have more later as this story develops.
they havent put him on yet. they figure if they wait until tuesday then the odds of another team claiming him will be much lower.
Latest on Ankiel: He's NOT on waivers
BY DERRICK GOOLD Of the Post-Dispatch 04/02/2005
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Rick Ankiel, the Cardinals' novice outfielder, has not yet been placed on waivers as the franchise probes every possibility to assure the retired pitcher's safe passage to the minors.
Although it was originally indicated that Ankiel had to be placed on waivers this past week -- with news of his possible clearance or selection coming this weekend -- several sources with the Cardinals confirm that that was not the case.
Instead, Ankiel was put on the Cardinals' 25-man roster by Saturday's deadline.
On Tuesday, he will be removed -- and then likely placed on waivers.
The Cardinals had two open spots on their 25-man roster, and because of that and Ankiel's guaranteed contract were provided some flexibility to their decision. Albeit, a delay of what seems the inevitable. Those two spots are earmarked for non-roster invitees Bill Pulsipher and Abraham Nunez, but their contracts do not have to be purchased and added to the 25-man roster until Tuesday.
Holding those spots in the interim will be Ankiel and DL-bound Matt Morris, general manager Walt Jocketty said. He declined any further comment on Ankiel's waiver status or his potential assignment.
Both players will be removed as part of in-season moves.
Ankiel, once a sizzling pitching prospect who won 11 games in his rookie season, is out of options and therefore must receive waivers from the other 29 teams before being assigned to a Cardinals' minor-league team, presumably Double-A Springfield.
His agent has contacted other teams to tell them Ankiel will not consider pitching -- that weariness and frustration with continued control problems has sent him to the field, where he's excelled as a hitter.
If he's selected, Ankiel has said, he's going as an outfielder.
The Cardinals are exploring every possibility to assure Ankiel clears waivers, and are being clandestinely quiet about the process to strengthen those chances.
``I think it gets to the point where something has to happen,'' manager Tony La Russa said of Ankiel. ``We'll know something earlier in the week. I want him to be in this organization. He played well enough to be here (in Springfield).''
he is a long shot but honestly i think he is one of our better outfield prospects (if you ignore that he has technically too much mlb experience to be a prospect). good swing, decent power, left handed and supposedly his throws have been strong and accurate.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that "On Monday, pitcher-turned-outfielder Rick Ankiel hit his fourth home run in five games for Quad Cities, the Cardinals' Class A affiliate in Davenport, Iowa. Starting in right field and batting No. 3, Ankiel launched a shot that one-hopped into the Mississippi River, over the right-field fence. Ankiel, on what is essentially a rehab assignment before returning to Class AA Springfield, is hitting .290 with 11 RBIs for the Swing."