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  1. Strikeouts are fascist, he should try some ground balls.

    Comment by Not David — December 21, 2010 @ 11:08 am

  2. I’ve wondered over the last couple of years whether Ankiel will give pitching another shot when his career as a position players winds down.

    It seems like it’d be worth the risk — maybe he could play for a couple years as a poor man’s Carlos Marmol type of reliever.

    Of course, if there are emotional scars attached to his final pitching performances, perhaps he’ll just walk away (no pun intended). I recall sometime a couple years ago when he made a throw into home plate from centerfield and it sailed a good 20 feet over the catcher’s head — and immediately the network (don’t remember which) gave us a close up of Ankiel’s face as the announcers chuckled a bit. It felt wrong.

    Comment by Mark Geoffriau — December 21, 2010 @ 11:11 am

  3. The team didn’t give up on Ankiel as a pitcher, Rick did. He had made some progress, but having it fall apart again in AA was the final straw and he made the decision to switch, which was given a (Probably reluctant) blessing by the organization. I wish he hadn’t, but I can’t even imagine the frustration he must have been feeling between the injuries and the control problems.

    Comment by cpebbles — December 21, 2010 @ 11:35 am

  4. Rick Ankiel is actually spelled with 2 K’s.

    Comment by JT — December 21, 2010 @ 11:50 am

  5. At least they only need 0.3 WAR out of him, right?

    Comment by Person — December 21, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  6. I think Mike Morse deserves a chance to platoon somewhere seeing how he mashes lefties. He can give Morgan and Ankiel days off and play some first base. He needs to get some AB’s next year.

    Comment by Pat — December 21, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

  7. I was going to say the same thing. Also, he didn’t begin the transition to being a full-time position player until 2005. He was still pitching in ’04 (including a handful of games in the majors) and even in the early part of spring training in 2005:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050309&content_id=962551&vkey=spt2005news&fext=.jsp&c_id=stl

    Comment by WY — December 21, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  8. Ankiel making the transition from pitcher to outfielder so late in his career is obviously part of this. But when he’s on, his swing is so natural. Even if it is a swinging strike three….

    In the playoffs against the Giants, don’t know if anyone remembers this, but he misplayed a ball off the fence… but recovered to throw a freaking missile into the infield from the wall. They didn’t replay his throw but just the play(I think it was ruled a double.) Obviously a guy who used to throw 96-98 mph on occasion and is a lefty will have a gun in center, but it was impressive nonetheless.

    Comment by Kyle — December 21, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

  9. Do we automatically assume Nyjer Morgan in CF? After last year’s antics, combined with .633 ops, is he really locked into CF, cause if I were the Nats I’d be considering that spot an open competition too.

    Comment by Mr. Sanchez — December 21, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  10. I remember watching a game in 2007 or 2008 where Ankiel threw a runner out from deep left field that he had no business getting out. I have never seen such a perfect strike from the outfield to the catcher. I was watching with a friend at the time and he asked why Ankiel couldn’t throw like that from the mound.

    Comment by Evan — December 21, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

  11. His name is only 20% ks. Needs more.

    Comment by Jon S. — December 21, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

  12. His middle name is Alexander. Oh well.

    Comment by jmr — December 21, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

  13. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE INTANGIBLES!

    I bet that postseason HR against Ramon Ramirez in the top of the 11th raised his worth by $1M xD

    Comment by Avi A — December 21, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

  14. In one game, Ankiel threw out 2 runners at 3rd vs. COL, one of them was from da-eeep left-center.

    The announcers, of course, capitalized on the situation to make some “perfect strike” comments.

    Ankiel’s probs have rarely been physical, when healthy of course. The speculation on the cause of his troubles have been all over the map. When you have an imprisoned father on drug charges, the speculation tends to do that.

    One also has to wonder how much of his early success (hitting for power) was, in part, due to him using growth hormone … y’know to recover from surgery.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 21, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

  15. He also had an impressive HR into the drink that series to give the Braves their sole win.

    Comment by Scout Finch — December 21, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

  16. Mark Reynolds is also spelled with a K. Apparently hitters who swing for the downs on every pitch have value in this game.

    Comment by Scout Finch — December 21, 2010 @ 10:34 pm

  17. Yup, more democratic.

    Comment by Giant Torture — December 22, 2010 @ 11:25 am

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