Rick Ankiel has 12 strikeouts in his last 13 at-bats

13 Comments

Rick Ankiel, like the Astros as a whole, hasn’t been the same since Opening Night.

Ankiel delivered a pinch-hit homer off Derek Lowe in the Astros’ season-opening win over the Rangers, but since then he’s come to the plate 13 times and here are the results:

Strikeout
Strikeout
Strikeout
Line Out
Strikeout
Strikeout
Strikeout
Strikeout
Strikeout
Strikeout
Strikeout
Strikeout
Strikeout

That would be 0-for-13 with 12 strikeouts and a line out, which makes the Opening Day excitement seem like it was a million years ago.

(Complicated handshake to David Cameron of Fan Graphs for taking notice of Ankiel’s stretch.)

Michael Brantley has ankle surgery, to be sidelined 4-5 months

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Cleveland Indians just announced that outfielder Michael Brantley underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery yesterday, aimed at stabilizing ligaments. He’s expected to be able to resume baseball activities in 4-5 months, which is likely to delay the beginning of his 2018 season.

Brantley only played in 90 games for the Indians in 2017, sitting out most of August and all of September, but returning for the postseason. He injured the ankle in a game against the Rockies on August 8 and it never did get quite right, as his 1-for-11 line in the ALDS suggested. On the season as a whole Brantley hit .299/.357/.444 with nine homers and 52 driven in.

Brantley’s contract expires with the 2017 season, but there is a 2018 team option at a relatively reasonable $11 million. While he has only played 101 games in the past two seasons combined due to injuries, his strong performance from 2012-2015, and his status as a team leader, will likely lead the Indians to exercise that option.