Elsa Hasch / Allsport

Rick Ankiel announces attempt to come back as a reliever


Former major leaguer Rick Ankiel recently pitched in the Bluegrass World Series, a tournament that pits former major leaguers against college and semi-pro players. The 39-year-old lefty pitched an inning in the game, recording a strikeout. Ankiel also threw a runner out from right field and went 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs batted in.

On Monday, Ankiel officially announced his plan to attempt a comeback as a relief pitcher. Ankiel currently serves as an analyst for FOX Sports Midwest, so that’s where he made his announcement:

Of note, Ankiel said, “When I take a look at pros and cons, I can make a whole list of pros. I got nothing on the cons. Zero.” He added, “When you take a look at baseball, the game has swung back around to my style of pitching when you walk about the big curve balls, fastballs up. So I feel like why not come back as a lefty reliever and put one more chapter in the book.”

Ankiel plans to take his comeback attempt seriously. He said, “Obviously, for the Bluegrass World Series, I wasn’t in what you would call pitching shape, so I’m going to take the next three, four months here and the offseason to get in the best shape I possibly can and see what it feels like.”

Ankiel last appeared in the majors in 2013 but he hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2004. He famously battled a case of the “yips” in the 2000 postseason. He pitched only 24 innings in 2001 and 10 in ’04 before transitioning to become a full-time outfielder. He didn’t play in the majors in 2005-06, then returned with the Cardinals in ’07. Ankiel also wore the uniform of the Royals, Braves, Nationals, Astros, and Mets before fading out after the 2013 season.

White Sox slugger Jiménez sidelined with bruised foot

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez has a sprained right foot, likely sidelining the slugger for a pivotal season-ending series against the crosstown Cubs.

The White Sox had dropped a season-high five in a row heading into the weekend set, falling out of first place in the AL Central. They are hoping to get back on track heading into their playoff appearance since 2008, but the health of Jimenez is a concern.

Jimenez, who is batting .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs, was injured sliding across home in the seventh inning of Chicago’s 5-4 loss at Cleveland on Thursday. Manager Rick Renteria said the 23-year-old left fielder will need “to be off his feet” for a few days.

“There’s inflammation in there and they want to calm it down” Renteria said. “We’ll know more in a few days.”

The White Sox trailed the first-place Twins by a game heading into the series with the Cubs. They are just one ahead of the third-place Indians. The AL postseason begins on Tuesday.