Now Commenting On:

Porter holds Ankiel in high regard

Porter holds Ankiel in high regard play video for Porter holds Ankiel in high regard

HOUSTON -- The decision to part ways with Rick Ankiel on Monday was a difficult one for manager Bo Porter, who was with Ankiel last year in Washington and has tons of respect for the way the veteran carried himself.

Ankiel and fellow outfielder Fernando Martinez were designated for assignment Monday, likely bringing an end to their tenure in Houston. Ankiel hit just .194 in 25 games with five homers, 11 RBIs and a whopping 35 strikeouts in 62 at-bats. The Astros couldn't live with the strikeouts anymore.

"It was real difficult because of the professional Rick Ankiel is and all the things he was able to do for us from the moment we signed him, and he did a tremendous job of mentoring a lot of the young guys and adding a veteran presence that was very much needed in our ballclub," Porter said. "At the same time, it was something [general manager] Jeff [Luhnow] and I talked about and something that needed to be done."

The Astros brought Ankiel to Minute Maid Park on Monday to inform him of the decision in person, which was a definite show of respect.

"Rick is a professional and he understands the game," Porter said. "He's been around the game a long time. His reaction was, 'Thanks for the opportunity.' He wished us well, we wished him well and that was pretty much it."

Fellow veteran Carlos Pena considers Ankiel a friend and was sorry to see him go.

"Everybody loved him," he said. "He is a very dear friend of mine and not to have him around is definitely something that hurt, but it was good to see him in good spirits and positive like he's always been. He's a warrior."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español