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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.