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Nationals designate Rick Ankiel for assignment

Former Cardinals pitcher and outfielder Rick Ankiel has been designated for assignment by the Nationals.

The lefty thrower and hitter was batting .228 with five homers for Washington where he worked as an extra outfielder. He was let go to make room for pitcher Drew Storen.

There is talk that Ankiel could end up in New York because both the Mets and Yankees could use an extra lefty batting fly chaser.

It's doubtful the Redbirds would be interested in Ankiel as an outfielder -- especially with the return of Lance Berkman adding an extra body to the first base/corner outfield picture. But the Cardinals could use some lefty bullpen help... Just saying.

While there are many others who had more illustrious Cardinals careers, Ankiel will always be a personal favorite because of his underdog image and his incredible raw talent.

It's a shame he didn't make it work as a pitcher because he had some of the most incredible, intimidating stuff from a left hander that I have ever seen. He could make batters look absolutely foolish -- when he could get the ball over the plate. It's amazing that he called it quits as a hurler -- and then made it back to the big leagues as an outfielder.

I'll never forget his two homer game after being called up from Class AAA after making his transition. And I'll also never forget his ridiculous throwing arm from the outfield. It was priceless to see the shocked look on baserunners' faces when he threw them out from the outfield warning track.

I hope he can keep it going for a few more years.

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