The Rick Ankiel era has come to and end with the Mets. The veteran center fielder has been designated for assignment and can choose to accept the assignment to AAA or elect free agency. My guess is the latter.
Taking his place will be Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who is already on his way to the big league club after his recent tear with Las Vegas. The 25-year old slugger has ten hits in his last ten games in Vegas, which includes three home runs and two doubles. And he has slammed eight home runs over his last 16 games. Overall he has an .836 OPS in 36 games with Vegas including ten home runs, 18 RBI and 33 runs scored. He will be a welcomed addition to the team and we hope to see a carryover effect from his recent hot performance.
On the flip side, Ankiel struck out in his last three ABs with the Mets after coming into the 20-inning affair at Citi Field as a pinch hitter. He finished his Mets tenure with a .182 batting average and a .602 OPS in 66 at-bats while striking out 25 times.
The worst part of this Ankiel signing was that my biggest fear was realized… That he would take away playing time from younger players like Juan Lagares and Jordany Valdespin.
We should be playing our younger players regularly so they could be evaluated as we navigate through another lost season whose only goal should be to focus on 2014 and beyond.
The Ankiel signing made absolutely no sense at all and in the end wound up being a huge waste of time and money.