(BaseballStL) -- Four days after being released from the Houston Astros, Rick Ankiel landed with the New York Mets in time to face his first big league club, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ankiel made the start in centerfield and batted seventh for the Mets on Monday. He finished the game 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk.
The former Cardinals pitching phenom-turned-outfielder batted a grotesque .192 and struck out 35 times in 62 at-bats with Houston before his release on May 9. Prior to Monday, Ankiel whiffed on 42.4 percent of his swings this season.
The lack of a strong batting average fits right in with the Mets lineup, which featured no batters with a .300 average or better on Monday.
When asked if he was happy Ankiel landed a spot with a major league club, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny responded, “Do I feel pretty good about it? He walks up there late in the game and I’m not feeling real good about it because I know he’s got the kind of power to make it a one-run game in a hurry. I have a lot of respect for Rick and how he’s gone about his business to overcome a lot. He’s a pretty amazing story.”