New York Mets sign outfielder Rick Ankiel

05/13/2013 4:43 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
The New York Mets have agreed to a Major League deal with Rick Ankiel, and Ankiel is in the starting lineup in center field for the Mets’ game against St. Louis on Monday night.

Ankiel, 33, was designated for assignment by Houston on May 6 and released on May 9. He had five home runs and 11 RBI in 22 games for the Astros, but was hitting just .194 with a .231 on-base percentage and had struck out 35 times in 62 at-bats.

In his pre-game press conference Monday, Mets manager Terry Collins said that Ankiel will platoon with rookie Juan Lagares in center field, playing solely against righties, and the skipper also said he hoped that Ankiel would, like catcher John Buck, be productive as a “change of scenery surprise.”

To make room for Ankiel on the roster, the Mets optioned outfielder Andrew Brown to Triple-A Las Vegas. Brown was recalled when Collin Cowgill was optioned on May 3, and he was 3-for-15 with one home run in six games.

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