ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Rick Ankiel struck out as a pinch hitter for the St. Louis Cardinals' final out of the season. It likely was his final game with the team, too.
The 30-year-old outfielder is due for free agency and his playing time was reduced down the stretch. Manager Tony La Russa advised Ankiel, who has been with the Cardinals his entire career since getting drafted as a phenom high school left-handed pitcher in 1997, to look for the best deal.
The Cardinals were set in the outfield at the end of the season with Matt Holliday in left, rookie Colby Rasmus in center and Ryan Ludwick in right and are trying to sign Holliday to a long-term contract. Ankiel batted .231 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs, striking out 99 times in 372 at-bats, and fanned in both at-bats in the division series.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)