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The Story of Rick Ankiel

By: Kyle Sullivan

There have been many cool and interesting stories of MLB players getting the yips and never playing in the majors again, but Ankiel’s story is different. It is about a pitcher who got the yips but got moved to the outfield and stayed a solid major league player.

Rick Ankiel was a starting pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. His first two seasons he was electric with a 3.27 & 3.50 era’s with 233 strikeouts over those years. He was going to be the next stud pitcher in the MLB but then the yips happened.

Rick Ankiel got the yips but he did move down to Triple-A but eventually got called up again.

Nobody knows how, who, and when the yips will happen but it happened to Ankiel. He pitched another season having a 7+ era. He got moved to center field for the Cardinals and he didn’t do bad hitting either, for a pitcher moved to center. Lifetime he batted .240/302/422 with 76 hrs and 251 rbi’s. As you could probably tell that these aren’t horrible numbers but they also aren’t good either.

Rick Ankiel got moved to an every day center fielder and he sustained himself in the majors for years to come after getting the yips. His story is unlike any other player in the MLB who had the yips. Many players like Chuck Knoblouch, Steve Sax, Jarrod Saltalamchia and many others all got the yips but never came back as a good major leaguer ever again. Rick Ankiel got super lucky that he got another chance at playing in the bigs and he made it work.