Ankiel headlines Astros' non-roster invites

Ankiel headlines Astros' non-roster invites
January 17, 2013, 5:15 pm
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CSNHouston Staff

Rick Ankiel might end up being an Astro in 2013.

At the very least, he'll be a non-roster invitee at Spring Training.

Ankiel, 33, spent his last two seasons with the Washington Nationals, where he his .228 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 2012 and batted .239 with nine homers and 37 RBIs.

“He can play all three outfield positions,” Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. “He’s got a plus-plus arm and plays good defensively. He’s a left-handed power bat. In my time I overlapped with him at the Cardinals, he was a very special player. He had big-time power at Triple-A and got promoted to the big leagues and showed that power there. He’s been inconsistent the last few years, but we really feel like this is a guy we want to take a chance on. He’ll come into camp looking to make the club.”

Ankiel's best season in the majors as a position player was 2008, when he hit .264 with 25 home runs and 71 RBIs with the Cardinals

Ankiel started his professional career as a pitcher but lost his ability to find the strike zone. He switched over to being an outfielder in 2005.

Ankiel is going to camp as a hitter but he owns a 13-10 career record with a 3.90 ERA.

Other notable non-roster invitees include 2B Delino DeShields, CF George Springer. DeShields, 20, and Springer, 23, both had successful minor league seasons in 2012.

DeShields was the Astros' first pick in 2010 and set an Astros' record with 101 stolen bases last season. In A-ball, DeShields hit .298 with 96 runs, 22 doubles, five triples, 10 homers and 52 RBIs.

Springer was the Astros' first pick in 2011. He hit .318 with 10 triples, 22 homers, 82 RBIs and 28 stolen bases before being promoted to Double-A.

The rest of the Astros' non-roster invitees are as follows:

LHP Kevin Chapman

OF Trevor Crow

LHP Sergio Escalona

RHP Chuckie "C.J." Fick

C Rene Garcia

OF Jake Goebbert

RHP Edgar Gonzalez

C Jason Jaramillo

OF Marc Krauss

3B Brandon Laird

OF Che-Hsuan Lin

C Carlos Perez

2B Jose Martinez

C Chris Wallace

RHP Josh Zeid