Astros Designate Rick Ankiel, Fernando Martinez For Assignment

The Astros announced that they have designated outfielders Rick Ankiel and Fernando Martinez for assignment via team press release. In related moves, Trevor Crowe and Jimmy Paredes have been called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City, J.D. Martinez has been activated from the disabled list and Brandon Laird has been optioned to Triple-A.

Ankiel, 33, hit .194/.231/.484 with five homers in 65 plate appearances for the Astros. He will forever hold the distinction of being the first Astro to homer following their shift to the American League. Since reviving his career as an outfielder in 2007, the former Cardinals pitcher has batted .244/.306/.430 in 1948 plate appearances.

Martinez, still just 24 years of age, was long hailed as one of the crown jewels of the Mets' farm system. It was considered a coup for the Mets when they were able to acquire Johan Santana from the Twins without including him in the package, but his star has faded since that time. After being cut loose from the Mets' 40-man roster, the Astros claimed him on waivers in January 2012. Martinez has hit just .206/.269/.362 in 310 big league plate appearances, though he does hold a respectable .279/.337/.474 batting line in 1119 career plate appearances at Triple-A.

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