The Phillies played a waiting game, but when the time came where they could claim Indians outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off waivers, they jumped at the chance. They acquired the speedy 26-year-old Tuesday and designated Rule 5 OF Ender Inciarte for assignment, which begins a process that likely will return the 22-year-old to the Diamondbacks.
A little Koala Paw Pat here since I mentioned Carrera a couple of weeks ago as a guy the Phils had to consider.
Carrera essentially is a more polished version of Inciarte -- strong and versatile defensively, nothing special (but more advanced) with the bat from the left side, and a very good baserunner (Carrera had 11 SBs this spring, 8 SBs in 9 attempts with Cleveland in limited duty last season).
Carrera hit .272 with 11 extra-base hits in 147 ABs for the Indians last season, but got caught in a squeeze when the Tribe got aggressive this winter. He hit .279 in spring training and .286 in the Venezuelan Winter League.
This creates more of a threat to either John Mayberry Jr. or Laynce Nix, as someone has to go from the outfield when Delmon Young is ready for duty. Young played right field for the first time Tuesday in an extended spring game, as he continues to progress from offseason ankle surgery. While it would seem Nix is more at risk (since the Phils are crowded with left-handed bats in the everyday lineup), Mayberry could be a big April in Triple-A by Darin Ruf away from being expendable if his lackluster Grapefruit League effort spills into April.