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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Should pitcher Rick Ankiel and the Cardinals re-unite?

Read the main article at about the possibility of Rick Ankiel returning to pitching and his long history as both a pitcher and outfielder.

Then, vote here as to what you think Ankiel should do if he decides to take the mound again and how the Cardinals should react.

Should Rick Ankiel give the Cardinals right of first refusal if he returns to pitching?

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Should the Cardinals consider re-signing Ankiel the pitcher?

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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52 Responses to “Should pitcher Rick Ankiel and the Cardinals re-unite?”

  1. Brian Walton says:

    Yahoo’s Tim Brown has apparently spoken with Scott Boras. His tweet:

    Not for nothin’, but Scott Boras on Ankiel possibly returning to mound: “Rick Ankiel is a position player. He’s not pitching.”

  2. crdswmn says:

    Mark McGwire accepted hitting coach position with the Dodgers.

    • Nutlaw says:

      That’s … not a great feeling.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      Ohhhhhhhh……………… things aren;t what they appear in Cards land…………. he was being set up as the goat…….. bet Tony didn’t discourage him……….. this is your problem…… BD will take another step toward invisibility……….. unless he cut the goat himself……… Lohse was offered the 13 large…. wonder if he takes it?

      • CariocaCardinal says:

        Yes, it is a conspiracy that McGwire’s family lives in LA. And then DeWitt. Fox and Selig convinced Magic to offer mcGwire a job. Which would seem to be a miracle in itself since you’ve made it clear to all of us what a lousy hitting coach McGwire is.

        • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

          Lets just let this post stand…………and wonder why no one comes here anymore……… his family…right……… who do you think hooked him up to the Dodgers…….?????? not a solid offer from them yet?…….. Mark has some integrity…glad to see it……. You sit on this board like a bad smell Brazilian ………… Brian, your luck is about to change……..

          • blingboy says:

            I never cared if MM was any good as a hitting coach. It was awesome seeing him in the dugout.

            Some time back, a couple winters ago, I talked about how the Cards were keeping themselves in the NYTimes most of the off season. The McGwire hiring was a big part of that. Letting him walk is a travesty. Bad juju.

            • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

              Its not really………its what replaces him. ……… Mark let himself be compromised…… his leaving is either a sign of health……….or its opposite here…… that remains to be seem……. LA is going to be a high visibility org shortly…… Tony was likely his agent here…..and he hasn’t got that job yet.

      • Brian Walton says:

        WC, why would Lohse consider taking the Cardinals offer?

        • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

          Who knows? Jesus……..Cy Young……….win 12 games, make the All Star team…… take a trade at the break under control and out of the Market…….at his request……..make up the difference and more……. just skinning cats with new rules…….. catbird seat is rarely riding along with Scotty….never has been….

          • JumboShrimp says:

            Kyle was fantastic for the Cards for 5 years. Scottie B and Mo were winners from their association.
            Mo has to look ahead. Kyle is getting up there in baseball years and we do not mind freeing up budget. Also, Kyle can provide a high draft pick just for leaving town. We like helping guys earn big bucks and then saying thanks Kyle for the wonderful memories and for the draft pick.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              Its the old buy low, sell high. Lohse had a great 2012, so his price is high. Its time to say thanks for the memories, Kyle!
              Westbrook was ok in 2012, better than in 2011. We re-upped him for another year. Mo likes to settle some guys early, so there is less uncertainty later during the baseball labor market mad scramble.

          • Brian Walton says:

            WC, remember that the rules have changed. A player traded during the season is no longer eligible for free agent compensation even if his new club wanted to make a qualifying offer.

  3. Nutlaw says:

    I wouldn’t mind the Cardinals with some lefty relief help. Ankiel would probably perform better than most of the scrubs they’ve had out there in recent years.

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    Seems like a nice break for McGwire. He stuck around for a year to help transition after TLR left. But he’s a southern california guy, so should head home.
    The Dodgers are showing respect by hiring him. Mark deserves it.

  5. Bw52 says:

    Some minor league free agent LH bullpen options
    Rob Delaney
    Mike Zagurski
    Justin Hampson
    Will Ohman
    Cesar Jimenez
    Mitch Stetter
    Dusty Hughes

    didn`t bother listing Rich Rundles.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Do you see anyone better than JC Romero there?

      • Nutlaw says:

        Will Ohman is much better than JC Romero, at least.

        • crdswmn says:

          Not really.

          Will Ohman career WAR 1.5
          JC Romero career WAR 3.8

          • Brian Walton says:

            I honestly don’t care enough to look myself, but career numbers are not relevant to me. How about season average or best season in the last two or three years?

            • crdswmn says:

              That’s kind of difficult because both have been team hopping and in an out of the minor leagues for a good part of the last three years. That is why I went with career WAR as a comparison. Ohman pitched 26 innings in 2012 with the White Sox, 0-2 with an ERA of 6.41, FIP was 6.28, K/9 was 4.39, WAR -0.4. Romero pitched 12 innings with 2 teams in 2012. 0-0 with an ERA of 9.00, FIP was 7.43. K/9 was 4.50, WAR -0.3

              Honestly, there is very little difference between the two. Ohman is certainly not “much better” than Romero.

              • Brian Walton says:

                No, they both stink. I hope the Cards don’t waste anyone’s time by bringing in inferior pitchers.

                • crdswmn says:

                  Amen to that.

                  • Brian Walton says:

                    For once, I want to see the Cards get aggressive in signing minor league free agents – quality, not quantity. They have major holes at Memphis and could potentially reinforce StL’s bench. Take a look at the Roster Matrix.

                    Other organizations are already signing players. In recent years, it seems like the Cards haven’t done much until January and had to scramble during the season due to lack of depth when the inevitable injuries hit. It is time to change that.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      Got your eye on any in particular?

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      To be honest, I haven’t spent any meaningful time on it yet. I am still in AZ checking out prospects. The weather is glorious, BTW.

                      In fairness to them, the Cards aren’t entirely sitting on their hands. They are having meetings now in StL to discuss this and other topics. Hoping they act.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      Yeah, well don’t rub it in. It was cold and wet all day today.

                      Tomorrow I get to spend all day with 1st graders, then stand in line to vote. Yeah, it’s glorious here too.

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      Well, I haven’t been home in two weeks so it isn’t all great. Still, any time I can see live baseball, especially with Cardinals, it is a good thing.

                      That reminds me. The Surprise game on Saturday night will be shown nationally (except in certain deprived areas of MO) on MLB Network. (Sorry to rub it in, crdswmn, I couldn’t help it!)

                    • Nutlaw says:

                      Why would any AAAA guys sign with the Cardinals? Eugenio Velez had his butt stuck in AAA all season last year despite an .807 OPS and 37 SB while manning 2B, 3B, and RF when the major league club went through periods of questionable outfield and 2B depth?

              • Nutlaw says:

                Wait. No. Boo! You may lawyer your way past the old man, but your cherry picking won’t fool me!

                Yes, Ohman had a 5.01 xFIP last year in 26 IP. He had a 3.59 xFIP (53 IP) in 2011 and a 4.08 xFIP (42 IP) in 2010.

                JC Romero’s xFIP numbers in the past three years (descending) were 5.17 (12 IP), 4.70 (24 IP), and 5.27 (36 IP).

                Romero has double the career WAR of Ohman because he’s pitched double the innings. Romero has a career 4.58 xFIP and has been slipping in the past four years. Ohman has a career 4.16 FIP and has never had an xFIP higher than 4.45 in any season during which he reached 30 IP. He had one relatively bad, abbreviated season last year.

                Furthermore, Ohman did have trouble against RHP in 2012 (.970 OPS), but excelled against LHP (.555 OPS). His career numbers against are .782 and .643.

                In 2012, JC Romero had an opposing OPS of over 1.000 for both RHB and LHB.

                Romero is completely washed up at this point. Ohman had one shaky season. Ohman is very much better than Romero at this point in their careers.

                • Nutlaw says:

                  Ohman got unlucky in 2012 to have a 20% HR/FB when his career mark is 10.8%. His 48.9% GB% was actually much better than his career 40.7% mark.

                  He only tallied 4.39 K/9 in 2012, but kept his BB/9 down at 1.69. His 2011 and 2010 K/9 marks were both above 9 and his career mark is 8.57. He only walked 2.87 per 9 IP in 2011 and this is clearly an area in which he’s trending quite positively.

                  I am very much convinced that he’s still got it. I’d be happy if the Cardinals scooped him up.

                • crdswmn says:

                  Your scale of “much better” is way off.

  6. blingboy says:

    Some MLBTR guy thinks the Cards go for Sean Burnett.

    • crdswmn says:

      Affeldt, Burnett and Mike Gonzalez are probably the best of the bunch available and Affeldt is likely to be re-signed by the Giants, ditto for Gonzalez by the Nationals.

      Burnett had elbow surgery a few weeks ago (bone spurs) so don’t know how he will be health wise. He was pretty good prior to the surgery, had a .279 FIP and a 2.84 xFIP in 2012. Still a risk though.

  7. crdswmn says:

    37 guys on the 40 man and the Rule 5 eligibles to consider. Who do we protect?

    Brian, got any idea why Maikel Cleto is not listed on the 40 man roster on Cardinals website? Just an error?

  8. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    This is a funny thread………. I wonder if all young players using these techniques would look seem more formidable early on, and yet never quite develop……..opening the way for the next young power hitters?

  9. blingboy says:

    “They have major holes at Memphis . . . ”

    1. A few promotions would shift the holes to lower levels where they would more likely be filled from whithin.

    2. The glut of pitchers at the higher levels is as striking as the lack of position players. How can that be turned into value? Value meaning something we need more that a glut of pitchers.

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      i dont see the holes at memphis from a starter’s standpoint. The pitching is overcrowded to begin with. The position players; i’d be satisified with 1B Adams/Scruggs 2B Wong SS Jackson/Garcia 3B Curtis OF swauger/Taveras/Pham (and probably Chambers) C Hill/Perez There may be a few depth issues but I wouldn’t want to push too many of those players out of the development cycle for a minor league FA.

      I’d have to invest more time than I’m willing to do right now but I’m guessing most minor league FA signings that have turned in to something have been late signings. They are guys who are good to enough to think that they might get a major league deal and for whatever reason it doesn’t work out. Guys signing in November know they aren’t major league ready and i’d bet few get spring training invites.

  10. Bw52 says:

    Why not a minor league FA veteran C as depth for Audry Perez at AAA in 2013.Steven Hill might not return and if he does he`s a better hitter than a Catcher.or a vet FA with some MLB experience who can help the young pitchers at AAA.

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