Royals Sign Ankiel, Move him to Centerfield

Baseball betting on the Kansas City Royals might be a little more interesting this season.

The Royals will have a different looking outfield led by former St. Louis Cardinal right fielder Rick Ankiel.  MLB betting had the Royals signing Ankiel to a $3.25 million one-year deal that includes a $500,000 buyout on a $6 million mutual option for 2011.

Baseball betting lineups will now have the Royals with Ankiel in center field, David DeJesus in right and Scott Podsednik in left field.  Jose Guillen is expected to be the DH as MLB betting indicates. The addition of Ankiel could give the Royals the power they are missing and he could impact baseball betting.  Ankiel was a pitcher with the Cardinals before becoming an outfielder. He was off to a nice start last MLB betting season before getting injured.

Ankiel went to Kansas City because the Royals promised him a shot to play center field on a regular basis. The Royals were looking at either Brian Anderson or Mitch Maier in center field but Ankiel looks like a much better option than either of those two as baseball betting stats showed.  Baseball betting indicates that the Royals got rid of Coco Crisp who started last year in center.

Baseball betting stats had Ankiel hitting .264 with 25 homers in 2008. He fell to a .231 average and 11 homers last baseball betting year but much of that can be attributed to an injury.  “It knocked him out of his groove, and he lost some of the strength on his front side,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. The Royals are hoping that Ankiel regains his form from two years ago. If that happens, then Kansas City made a great deal. Ankiel has some power and he has a great arm.  Baseball betting indicated that in St. Louis the Cardinals would have liked to have had him return but they would not guarantee him a starting spot.  He would have competed with Colby Rasmus and Ryan Ludwick. “He runs well. He’s got a cannon for an arm. He has a real good stroke,” La Russa said. “The ball just jumps off his bat. What is it that he can’t do, if he can stay healthy and keeps improving?”

The Royals really struggled last year in the run scoring department and that hurt their results in baseball betting. They have the reigning Cy Young winner in Zach Grienke so if they could get someone to drive in runs they could be a team to watch in 2010 MLB betting.