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Rick Ankiel's Comeback

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Bald Bull, Jul 23, 2007.

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  1. Bald Bull

    Bald Bull New Member

    Saw that Rick Ankiel hit his 27th home run yesterday for Memphis, the Cardinals Triple-A team. He's tied for the Pacific Coast League lead in that category. I know he always had the rep of being a good hitter, but for this guy to reinvent himself as a power-hitting CF at the Triple-A level after his collapse as a can't-miss pitching prospect is amazing. He's still only 28. In my opinion, if he can make the bigs and sticks somewhere, even if it's not as an everyday player, it's a helluva comeback story. Any thoughts?
  2. I saw that...wonder why he hasn't got a callup yet. Perhaps he's a textbook case of a career AAAer? Or perhaps he has no options left?
  3. Beaker

    Beaker Active Member

    The way the Cards are playing, and with not much protection in the lineup for Pujols, I'm surprised they haven't called him up yet. I'm guessing they'll give him a shot as a September call-up, if not earlier.
  4. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I believe he hasn't been called because if they have to send him back to the minors, he has to pass waivers, which means they'll most likely lose him.
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Probably the nearest historical precedent would be Smoky Joe Wood, who had a Verlander/Gooden-like start to his career in 1909-1912, blew his arm out in 1913, then returned to the majors as a decent-hitting OF in 1917, playing until 1922.

    Obviously Ankiel wasn't that domianant as a pitcher, but it has been done before.
  6. boots

    boots New Member

    How about Stan Musial. And Ankiel was a good pitcher until he got Steve Blass disease.
  7. PhilaYank36

    PhilaYank36 Guest

    Very good point, boots. I think you could count the people who knew that Musial was a top left-hander in the Florida State League on just both hands.

    And to answer a previous question: yes, the Cardinals are out of options on Ankiel. Power numbers in the PCL are usually inflated (check out the ballparks, altitude and overall pitching quality), but the Cardinals basically have no hope in making the playoffs, so bring him up. Hell, do it before the trading deadline and maybe they'll be able to get someone of value for him if he performs well.
  8. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    The Cards have protected him so much in his comeback, too, that I wonder if that plays a part in their decision. The minute he gets called up, all of the warm fuzzy stories about his comeback also serve as reminders of what happened to him in the first place. Gotta wonder what the attention will do to his psyche.
  9. boots

    boots New Member

    They can only keep him in a shell for so long. I wonder what his presence in the St. Louis clubhouse will be. I'm sure there is some resentment.
  10. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Resentment? For what?
  11. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    What's interesting is that Ankiel will do some print interviews, but told ESPN to eff off when the Mouse wanted to do one of their set-to-music weep jobs on him recently. I had to smile when I heard that.
  12. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Doubtful. He didn't screw up their playoff chances in 2000, because they actually swept the Braves when he went berserk in the NLDS.

    And there's only a few guys left from the 2004 team -- a pennant winner, I might add -- when Ankiel made his last appearance in the majors, pitching 10 innings. Pujols, Rolen, Edmonds, Carpenter, Taguchi, Izzy, Randy Flores.
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