Phillies Looking for One More Outfielder

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury says the Phillies are still looking for another outfielder to round out the roster before they break camp and head north:

The fifth and final outfield job is still up in the air. Rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte could end up in the role, but it’s also possible that the Phils could add an outfielder from outside the organization. Seattle’s Casper Wells and Boston’s Ryan Sweeney are two outfielders that could be available in the coming days.

“Our eyes are open in the infield and the outfield,” Amaro said.

Of course, Delmon Young looms on the horizon as well.

Wells is a right-handed hitter with a severe platoon split (.363 wOBA vs. LHP; .298 vs. RHP) and average defense. He is eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2013 season and is eligible for free agency after the 2016 season.

Sweeney is a left-handed hitter who has been used mostly in a platoon role throughout his career, given a severe platoon split (.330 wOBA vs. RHP; .266 vs. LHP). He is eligible to opt out of his Minor League deal on Thursday, so the Red Sox have three days to figure out what to do with him.

Acquiring either player would result in the Phillies having to give back Rule-5 pick Ender Inciarte to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 22-year-old has never played above high-A ball and the Phillies would have to carry him on the 25-man roster all year if they intend to retain his services. As a roster that includes six outfielders is  extremely rare, this is an “or” situation for the Phillies.

A left-handed hitter would make more sense, especially if the Phillies see Laynce Nix participating in more of a pinch-hitting role than as an outfielder. With Domonic Brown slated to start everyday already, John Mayberry will get partial playing time in left field until Young returns from his ankle injury. A left-handed outfielder could counterbalance Mayberry’s right-handed struggles (.371 wOBA vs. LHP; .301 vs. RHP) and allow the Phillies to pace Young upon his return to the lineup.

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25 comments

  1. Phillie697

    March 25, 2013 12:39 PM

    But we non-tendered Nate Schierholtz >.< Someone please defend RAJ on this one; I need some comedy right about now.

  2. NickFromGermantown

    March 25, 2013 12:47 PM

    While I don’t think that Nate Schierholtz is going to be the next Giancarlo Stanton – and adding that caveat that we can only judge on what we know, his release was indefensible. It really served no purpose. Adding Delmon Young to the mix only made the move all the more questionable.

  3. TomG

    March 25, 2013 12:49 PM

    I realize that this will be off-topic, but I just gotta say that the Betancourt signing makes even less sense now that the Phillies have released him. Ostensibly, you sign a guy because you have a genuine interest in keeping him if he proves he can play – and they agreed, when the signed him, that he’s have till 3/24 to prove himself: That was in his contract.

    It’d be one thing if the FO office looked at YB’s numbers over the past few seasons and said, “This guy has a pretty long history of suck here, so let’s not sign him.”

    But evidently, they looked at those numbers and said, “Well, he looks poised for a comeback” … or something.

    The question then becomes … what more could Betancourt have done for the FO to have concluded, “Yeah, you’ve proved yourself with that performance”? Because he hit .447, slugged .574 and had an OPS of 1.025. Yes, he made 3 errors in the field, but Galvis and Utley each made two. YB also made some pretty nice plays in the field.

    Betancourt’s Spring looks on the surface to have been pretty fucking awesome, especially offensively. It’s as though the Phillies signed him while having no intention of keeping him, which is pretty fucking stupid, even by Phillies’ FO standards.

    N.B.: I am not lamenting their letting him go. I’m glad they did. But that’s coming from someone who never would have signed him in the first place.

    I’m just genuinely puzzled as to why they’d sign him if hitting nearly .450 and slugging over 1.000 wasn’t going to be good enough a performance to keep him. What would it have taken? .650 BA? 1.500 OPS?

    I’m at a loss to explain this.

  4. Bill Baer

    March 25, 2013 12:52 PM

    @ TomG

    I think the Phillies let Betancourt go because they didn’t have any leverage in trade negotiations. Amaro reportedly had some interest from teams, but they knew the Phillies’ hand was forced by the opt-out clause in his Minor League deal. Why give up players, even those with little to no Major League prospects, when you can just sign him for pocket change in a few hours?

    As for why they signed him in the first place, your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps insurance if Freddy Galvis didn’t show any progress during spring, and/or if Jimmy Rollins got hurt participating in the WBC.

  5. Phillie697

    March 25, 2013 01:32 PM

    It’s one less Douchbag on the team. It’s a win for us. Focus on that and try not to figure out the logic, or the lack thereof, that is the Phillies FO.

  6. chris

    March 25, 2013 01:34 PM

    We should have signed him and then traded him to New York or St. Louis…. Could have gotten a nice OF for him. They need to keep the Rule 5 guy. He will be a special player

  7. hk

    March 25, 2013 01:35 PM

    I think BB nailed the reason for the Yuni signing. I actually give RAJ kudos for not being swayed by the 50 ST PA’s. The Schierholtz decision remains indefensible.

  8. Jonny5

    March 25, 2013 01:36 PM

    Tom, The way I understand things, and people can correct me if I’m wrong. The Phillies had to release Betancourt or he was going to opt out his contract. He played well enough in spring to get better than the Phillies offer which was going to be a replacement infielder more than likely stashed in AAA or the bench until needed. Some other team will give him more playing time at a ML level, and that’s probably the most important thing to him now. It’s my opinion that his numbers are a huge mirage and he’s going to turn back into the guy we know. The Phillies would have ended up keeping him had he played like he normally has in the past. Him playing better than normal is why he’s being released if that makes sense. (I think)

  9. Phillie697

    March 25, 2013 02:05 PM

    @Jonny5,

    I see, so it’s not so much that RAJ wasn’t swayed by the 50 ST PAs, but that Douchbag Betancourt himself was. Can’t blame the guy, but glad we’re the beneficiary of his decision.

  10. jim lozenski

    March 25, 2013 03:21 PM

    What has Nate Schierholtz ever done? He was pedestrian at best and we can find an equal if not a better player off the scrap heap. As for Betancourt, it has been answered by those who know the system. Too many people write responses and don’t know what they are talking about.

  11. hk

    March 25, 2013 03:44 PM

    One thing Nate Schierholtz has done is be better than Laynce Nix.

  12. Phillie697

    March 25, 2013 03:57 PM

    @jim lozenski,

    If it’s that easy, why are we still looking? Are you saying that our GM didn’t know what we needed back in December and it’s taken him the entire off-season to figure it out and now we’re looking again a week before the season starts? Is that what you’re saying?

  13. Pencilfish

    March 25, 2013 04:23 PM

    TomG,

    Lesson 1 about GM’ing: Always have enough depth in case a player coming from injury (ie, Galvis) is not ready by April 1.

    Lesson 2: Never assume player don’t get injured. Rollins has some history of a few injuries here and there.

    Betancourt was a cheap insurance policy, and it turns out he wasn’t needed.

  14. Pencilfish

    March 25, 2013 04:30 PM

    Inciarte must be offered (not given) back to the D’backs, and the D’backs must accept him back in their minor-league roster. It is possible the Phillies and D’backs work out a trade too.

    If the Phillies do indeed pick up another OF, then when DY joins the roster, Nix or Mayberry could be a goner.

  15. NickFromGermantown

    March 25, 2013 05:39 PM

    Non-tendering Schierholtz is not a major move, but it points to questionable decision-making. It reminds me of when they got rid of Mike Fontenot. How do you get rid of Fontenot when Michael Martinez is on the team?

  16. Big A from Warminster

    March 25, 2013 06:37 PM

    Charlie falls in love with his guys…..that’s why Galvis is still here, he loves the guy….and that’s why Mini Mart stuck around. Betancourt has a track record in the Majors…not impressive, I agree with this move. Schierholtz never impressed me. It remains to be seen what D Young will bring…..or if he still has that crappy attitude that turns into clubhouse cancer.

  17. Brady

    March 25, 2013 07:26 PM

    Laynce Nix is not worth a spot on the bench. His offense isn’t all that great, his power is down and has become pop-up happy. While keeping Ender might not look good at first his speed will come in handy, much more than Nix, defensively and base running late in innings. His offense might not be there quite yet but he is young and has great potential. Mayberry has proven to be a bust, but being they need an OF/1st he may fill the need for now. Im high on the talent of the youth, and if they dont start trending younger I fear age WILL be an issue.

  18. Phillie697

    March 26, 2013 10:01 AM

    “Great” is not a word I’d use to describe Ender Inciarte’s anything. Intriguing, promising, has potential, yes. But great? This is how we hype ourselves up for a fringe prospect.

  19. hk

    March 26, 2013 10:09 AM

    Re Schierholtz, the people who write responses and don’t know what they’re talking about happen to be on the same side as Theo Epstein, who paid Nate ~50% more than RAJ would have had to pay him.

  20. Ryan

    March 26, 2013 10:34 AM

    While not great, Nix is the only decent option currently on the roster against righties to start the season. There’s no way that I would ever keep Inciarte over him, forcing either Mayberry or Inciarte to play the bulk of the time against righties. The guy has never played above single A. Don’t let spring training stats fool you.

    I’m not sure where Big A comes up with Galvis being in the majors because he’s Charlie’s guy. He can flat out defend and run the bases at an elite major league level which more than makes up for his bat.

  21. Phillie697

    March 26, 2013 10:45 AM

    ” He can flat out defend and run the bases at an elite major league level which more than makes up for his bat.”

    In 200 PA, Galvis racked up 0.6 fWAR last year, which was the result of a FANTASTIC 5.6 UZR playing mostly 2B, SSS and the inherent unreliability of UZR with such SSS notwithstanding. That prorates to 1.8 WAR/600 PA. If you want a 1.8 WAR 2B for our team, feel free to continue making those comments.

  22. pedro3131

    March 26, 2013 02:49 PM

    Also he was stealing bases at a 67% rate in his minor league career. I wouldn’t really call that “elite”.

    In fact, SSS aside, Utley posted 4 Runs from base running in his 362 AB’s, as opposed to Galvis who posted 0 in his 200 AB’s. If you’re “elite” base runner is running the bases significantly worse then a 34 yo with 2 bad knees, you’re probably doing something wrong.

  23. Pencilfish

    March 26, 2013 03:36 PM

    It’s either a good sign that people are harping about something as insignificant as the 5th OF (because there’s nothing else to talk about), or it means people can’t see the bigger issues, which is Halladay’s struggles so far.

    Schierholtz would have ALMOST ZERO impact on the Phillies playoff chances in 2013. Halladay on the other hand…

  24. Phillie697

    March 26, 2013 05:30 PM

    @Pencilfish,

    The decline of once a legend is hard to discuss, because there is really nothing to discuss but be sad about it.

  25. JOE B

    March 30, 2013 07:45 PM

    Here we are debating the fifth outfielder when indeed it’s the starting pitching and the age of a lot of players that needs the focus.

    I expect Frandsen will pick up a lot of games at second which is fine as offensively he gets on base more than just about everyone on the team. Rollins and Utley are just getting older and Howard will need a lot more rest days. The real Ruiz is a .230 -.240 hitter – We saw the juiced up version and if that version comes back, he may be out of baseball.

    Starting pitching is a big problem. Kendrick is far too erratic. Halladay days seem numbered and I expect a .500 win/loss situation. Hamels should be solid but Lee has too seen better days. Lannan will probably win half his starts and loss the other half.

    The outfield is the one solid component of this team.

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