Former major league pitcher Rick Ankiel, 27, is trying to make it back to the Cardinals as an outfielder. How's he doing? SI's Ankielometer tells all.
ANKIEL HAS TORN up Triple A pitching, knocking eight homers and driving in 29 runs in 28 games for the Memphis Redbirds. Among Pacific Coast Leaguers, only Ryan Ludwick, with 36, has driven in more runs. Unfortunately for Ankiel, Ludwick, who also has eight homers, played for Memphis, too. So with the Cardinals struggling—their outfielders have combined for seven homers and 30 RBIs this year—the team promoted the 28-year-old Ludwick on Sunday, leaving Ankiel in the minors. (Another reason the Cards had for not promoting Ankiel is that he is out of options, meaning if he were called up, he would have to clear waivers before he could be sent down again.) Even if he's on a smaller stage, Ankiel is impressing. "He's a guy who goes up there and doesn't get cheated," Omaha Royals manager Mike Jirschele told the Omaha World-Herald.