Results tagged ‘ Ender Inciarte ’

Carrera In, Inciarte Out

Ezequiel CarreraThe Phillies believe they have found a more suitable fifth outfielder than Rule 5 Draft pick Ender Inciarte.

Today they claimed outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off waivers. He hit .272 with six doubles, three triples, two home runs, 11 RBIs, eight stolen bases and a .707 OPS in 158 plate appearances last season with the Indians. The Phillies designated Inciarte for assignment to make room for Carrera on the 40-man roster.

Carrera, 25, is expected to be with the Phillies in time for Wednesday’s game against the Braves at Turner Field.

“He’s got a little more experience,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “Offensively, he’s a little more advanced than Inciarte right now. Inciarte may have been a little better all-around defender, although we think Ezequiel’s got more speed. But his versatility and speed were important to us. Again, this is the 25th man, but we think we’ve marginally improved.”

The Phillies selected Inciarte in the Rule 5 Draft from the Diamondbacks. He impressed with his glove and speed early in Spring Training, although a couple errors late last month convinced the Phillies they needed more seasoned help in the outfield, especially considering Inciarte had never played above Class A in the Minor Leagues.

Because Inciarte, who did not play in Monday’s season opener, is a Rule 5 pick, the Phillies were required to keep him on the 25-man roster the entire season or risk losing him. If a team claims Inciarte off waivers they also must keep him on the 25-man roster the entire season. But if he clears waivers, the Diamondbacks have the option of bringing him back, although they would have to pay the Phillies $25,000, half of what the Phillies paid to select him in the draft.

“We didn’t like the idea of having to lose Inciarte as a result of this,” Amaro said. “But this is part of the game.”

The Diamondbacks are expected to reclaim Inciarte, although Amaro said they will try to work out a trade.

Indians manager Terry Francona said during Spring Training they knew they would lose Carrerra, who can play all three outfield positions, if they placed him on waivers.

“His speed impacts the game,” he said last month. “He’s got the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark occasionally. He can be an interesting part of the bench, when he can change a game with his speed. He’s a good little player.”

Inciarte Watch

Ender InciarteEnder Inciarte will have his answer soon enough.

His chances to make the Phillies’ Opening Day roster improved Friday when the Phillies optioned outfielder Darin Ruf to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The move left five healthy outfielders in camp: Ben Revere, Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., Laynce Nix and Inciarte. The Phillies could make a trade or claim an outfielder off waivers before the season starts April 1 in Atlanta. They also could open the season with just four outfielders and three utility infielders with Freddy Galvis, Kevin Frandsen and Yuniesky Betancourt, although Ruben Amaro Jr. said that is unlikely. But if the Phillies can’t find a better outfielder elsewhere they could stick with Inciarte, 22, whom they drafted in December in the Rule 5 Draft.

“I’m thinking about it a lot and sometimes I feel anxious,” Inciarte said this morning at Bright House Field. “I want to know where I’m going to be this year. I’m kind of waiting for that day to know that answer.”

Inciarte, who has never played above Class A in the Minor Leagues, is hitting .238 (5-for-21) with one double, three walks and six strikeouts this spring. But the Phillies would not be keeping him for his bat. They would be keeping him for his defense and speed. He has been impressive in the outfield, showing good range and a strong arm. And with Delmon Young possibly back before May 1, it might not make sense to trade for another outfielder when there might not be a place for him in a month.

“I’m working hard,” Inciarte said. “I might have a chance, but they are the ones that make the decision. Right now, I don’t know. I don’t know where I’m going to be, but I’m going to keep working hard until the end. I’m happy overall. I think I’ve been showing my tools. I’ve just got to keep developing a lot of stuff because I’m still young and I feel like I can give a lot to this game.”

Ruf Optioned to Work on Defense

Darin RufDarin Ruf smiled brightly as he touched home plate this afternoon at Bright House Field.

He had just smashed a baseball onto the thatched roof of the mini-tiki bar in left field for a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Phillies a 7-6 victory over the Braves. The ball bounced off the roof, out of the ballpark and onto the MLB Network satellite truck below. It was a nice moment for Ruf, who had struggled early this spring as he competed for a job in the Phillies outfield. But before Ruf had a chance to enjoy the moment, the Phillies called him into manager Charlie Manuel’s office and optioned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

“I’ll be pulling for him,” Manuel said. “I think there’s a good chance we’ll see him here (this season). It depends on how our offense goes. He’s capable of being a really good hitter.”

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Five Topics with Eight Days Remaning in Florida

Domonic BrownThe Phillies board a flight for Philadelphia a week from tomorrow, which means the 2013 season is just 12 days away.

There have many storylines in camp, but as Spring Training in Florida comes to a close everybody seems to be talking about five things.

Let’s take a look at those five topics here:

Roy Halladay. There is reason to be concerned about Halladay. He looked fine in his first two Grapefruit League starts, throwing his fastball in the 89-91 mph range. But his velocity has dropped since then as he has had issues in each of his previous three starts. In his third Grapefruit League start his velocity fell into the 86-88 mph range as he talked about experiencing “dead arm.” He got shelled in 2 2/3 innings in his fourth start March 12, saying he felt lethargic. Then he lasted just one inning in his fifth start Sunday because of a stomach virus. Everybody is asking if Halladay is healthy. It is a fair and legitimate question to ask because Halladay and others in the organization said he was fine last March when he was experiencing lower back problems. But while the health question is justifiable, one also might ask this: Is Halladay simply running out of bullets? He turns 36 on May 14. He has pitched 2,351 1/3 innings from 2002-12, which ranks third in baseball. He has thrown 34,423 pitches in the regular season and postseason in that span, not including Spring Training games, bullpen sessions and warm ups. Maybe time is catching up to him, although he said in February he does not think he is there yet. It is a grim reality if it is true. Meanwhile, the Phillies are putting a positive spin on things, saying Halladay’s problems simply stem from a few mechanical issues and some problems with his cutter. They say all is well. They certainly hope they are right because it would be a blow to their chances if it is not. Halladay threw a bullpen session Wednesday and Rich Dubee said through a team spokesman, “Roy threw very well. He almost lost 10 pounds, so he’s just got to gain some weight back and get his strength.” Halladay is scheduled to make two more starts this spring before the regular season, including Saturday in a Minor League game at Carpenter Complex. It is strange to be writing this, but while in the past nobody would think twice about a couple poor Spring Training starts from Halladay, some positive results here would put some minds at ease. And not just the minds of fans. Phillies officials are putting up a brave face, but they would like to see some, too.

Read the rest of the story, including thoughts on Domonic Brown, the three remaining bullpen jobs, the fifth outfielder and the two utility infield jobs, here.

Phillies Find CF Help in Rule 5 Draft

inciarteThe Phillies found at least one potential centerfielder this morning at the Winter Meetings.

They selected Ender Inciarte from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 Draft.

Inciarte, 22, is not expected to be the Phillies’ Opening Day centerfielder, but he provides depth at a position that sorely needs it. He split last season with Class A South Bend and Visalia, where he hit a combined .307 with 28 doubles, 10 triples, 47 RBIs, 82 runs scored and 46 stolen bases.

“We like the defensive ability,” Phillies pro scouting director Mike Ondo said. “We think he’s an above average defender in center field, and an above average runner. The reports we get are that he has the instincts to play the game and a guy we can trust to run out there to play defense late.”

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