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Astros designate former Cardinals pitcher and outfielder Rick Ankiel for assignment

The Houston Astros have designated former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher turned outfielder Rick Ankiel for assignment.

This likely means the end for the powerful -- yet inconsistent slugger who had five homers in limited playing time but only a .194 batting average. That is unless he is willing to give being a hard-throwing southpaw pitcher another go.

Ankiel had a tough time finding a job this year after being released in mid season last year by the Washington Nationals. The idea was floated that he might be able to revive his career by going back to the mound. Ankiel, who was willing to walk away from his career several years ago, flatly rejected the notion. So there's no reason to believe he'd respond any differently now.

I'd be excited to see what's left in Ankiel's arm and what 10 years of maturity would do for the anxiety issues that ruined his career as a hurler.