Results tagged ‘ rick ankiel ’
As an outfielder, Rick Ankiel appeared in 102 games for Memphis and hit .267 (104×389) with 32 homers and 89 RBI. In 2007, Ankiel was named to the PCL All-Star game and finished the season with an organization-leading 43 home runs. But Ankiel’s history with the team wasn’t always as a left-handed slugger, but instead the Florida-native spent many nights on the hill as a starting pitcher.
Ankiel was originally drafted in 1997 with the intent of becoming one of St. Louis’ long-time starters. In 1999, the southpaw earned Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors and was ranked as St. Louis’ and MLB’s No. 1 prospect entering the 2000 season.
Year 2000 marked the then 20-year-old’s rookie season, where he went 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA in 30 starts and finished second in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. The following season, however, began Ankiel’s descent as a pitcher. He went 1-2 with a 7.13 ERA in six starts for the Cards before being optioned to Memphis. Ankiel didn’t touch a baseball in 2002 due to injuries and his need for Tommy John surgery resulted in the lefty pitching in only 31 more games by the end of 2004.
Ankiel began the 2005 season by announcing his retirement as a Major League pitcher on March 9 and turned his eyes to the outfield. He made his debut in Memphis as an outfielder in 2007 as a part of the Redbirds Opening Day roster and got the call to St. Louis on August 9.
The Rick Ankiel bobblehead is the eighth of the All AutoZone Park Series and will be given to the first 1,500 fans at Tuesday night’s Memphis Redbirds game against the Omaha Royals. Gates open at 6:00 P.M. for the 7:05 game.
It’s our last day in Tacoma with the ‘Birds going for a series split with the Rainiers and the weather could not have been better all weekend. The weather has been sunny and in the 70s all four days we’ve been here. All the stories you hear about it raining here all the time have not been true during this visit.
The Cardinals activated Rick Ankiel from the DL today which meant somebody had to come back to Memphis. That somebody was Tyler Greene, who was hitting .257 in 11 games with the Cardinals in his first big league time.In 19 games with the Redbirds Greene was hitting .296 with two homers and nine RBI.
Memphis will travel to Portland after today’s game and open a four-game series with the Beavers tomorrow afternoon at PGE Park. The ‘Birds and Beavers split their four-game set in Memphis last season. The series could be a low scoring one with both teams being the top two pitching teams in the PCL and the worst two hitting teams in the league. The Redbirds pitchers have a 3.54 ERA compared to the Beavers 3.67 team ERA. Memphis is hitting .241 and Portland is hitting .240 on the year. If you like pitcher’s duels this might be the series for you.
After finishing up in Portland the ‘Birds are back home on Friday, May 29 to play six games in four days against Iowa. Memphis and Iowa will play two seven-inning games on Saturday, May 30 with the first game beginning at 4:05 p.m. and fireworks following the second game. On Sunday, May 31 the two teams will pick up the suspended game from May 3 with the I-Cubs already leading 2-0 in the fourth. A seven-inning game will follow the suspended game. No rest for the weary because after the game on June 1 the ‘Birds head back out on the road to Oklahoma City. Memphis is definitely in a tough strech of games over the next couple of weeks with games, opponents and travel.