Originally posted on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 3/8/13
Ender Inciarte entered Spring Training a few weeks ago as something of a forgotten man. Selected as a Rule 5 draftee from the Diamondbacks all the way back on December 6, Inciarte was the first player acquired by Ruben Amaro, Jr. this past offseason. Typically, a Rule 5 selection isn’t met with much fanfare to begin with. But the subsequent additions of Ben Revere–whose popularity grows daily–and Delmon Young, plus the focus on Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf, took even more of the spotlight from Inciarte in the perception of the fans and media. When camp opened, Inciarte, who has never played a game above High-A Visalia, figured to be a long-shot to win one of the five outfield spots on the 25-man roster. But as the Spring has gone on, Inciarte has made himself harder and harder to ignore as a legitimate possibility to crack the Opening Day roster. So far, he’s gone 3-for-8 with three walks, two runs scored and a stolen base. Tack on his fantastic play in the outfield, and Inciarte looks like a man with some very valuable tools, albeit in a microscopic sample size. With Ruf’s struggles thus far, and Young’s standing appointment on the DL for the next month and change, I’d feel confident in Inciarte’s chances to be on the Phillies roster if Spring Training ended today. Further, if Ruf doesn’t start to produce and Inciarte continues to do what he’s done, things won’t look much different three weeks from now when camp actually does end. But, as stated above, Inciarte is a Rule 5 draft pick. Cracking the Opening Day roster will not be enough for the Phillies to retain his services. If, at any point during the season, they option him off their 25-man roster, the Phils would have to offer Inciarte back to Arizona. If he’s still playing as well as he is right now, Arizona would be remiss not to take him back. So the real question is this: Can Inciarte stick on the 25-man roster for the entirety of the 2013 season? My heart tells me yes, but my mind tells me no. It’s simple really. For the first few weeks of the season, while Young is on the DL, the Phillies will have no problem keeping Inciarte around. Especially because Ruf still has options (and has been bad in the field and at the plate). But once Young is ready to play again, the Phillies will need to make room for him. This is where the true test of how much Amaro and Co. like Inciarte will come. There is a slight, but highly unlikely, chance that the team will elect to carry six outfielders when Young returns, optioning instead to send down one of their utility infielders. In which case, keeping Inciarte around would be no problem. I leave this open as a possibility only because John Mayberry Jr. would be able to back-up first base, while someone like Freddy Galvis could be the fill-in for the middle infield spots and third base. Again, a possibility. But not one I really believe in. If the Phils want to keep Inciarte, a much more realistic possibility comes in the form of designating Mayberry or Laynce Nix for assignment, and likely losing them on waivers. The way Inciarte has looked so far, and given the poor reputations Mayberry and Nix have developed in this town, there is probably a large contingency of fans who would more than welcome this move. But, as history has shown us time and time again, the front office of a professional baseball team cannot operate entirely on the whims and desires of its fanbase, however sensible they may be. Would Amaro really be willing to give up someone like Nix or Mayberry–two players with which he at least knows exactly what he’ll get–for a young guy who has never played above Single-A and may just be having a nice couple of months? The answer, in my opinion, is no. There is one more way the Phillies could find room to hang on to Inciarte without having to surrender Mayberry or Nix to the mercy of the waiver wire: Release Delmon Young. This is another move plenty of people would embrace. But, after Amaro’s ringing endorsement  of Young on Wednesday, this again seems highly unlikely. So, unless Arizona for some reason declines to take him back, it seems the Phillies will have some trouble keeping Inciarte around. Unless of course he really picks up his play and leaves them no other choice. Who knows? Stranger things have happened. After all, Michael Martinez managed to survive the 2011 season. If that doesn’t show that anything is possible, I don’t know what does.  
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sean Rodriguez apologizes about outburst, including to water cooler

"Friday Night Lights" writer calls Chip Kelly a fraud

Gregg Popovich now resting himself by sitting out games

Knicks' sellout streak at Madison Square Garden halted at 201

Rex Ryan: Probably ‘a reach’ for Karlos Williams to play Sunday

Lions OC explains Golden Tate's limited role on offense


Dez Bryant doing light running as rehab from surgery continues

Report: Barnes punched Fisher, was begged by child to stop

Former NFL head coach Lindy Infante passes away at 75

Dion Lewis signs two-year contract extension with Patriots

Curry: Harden’s MVP talk ‘doesn’t change what happened’

Jason Garrett addresses Greg Hardy's comments about Tom Brady's wife

Real reason for Sam Bradford's struggles is...his glutes?

Messi charged with tax fraud, could face prison time if convicted

Lamar Miller: Fantasy owners ‘stay tuned' for more carries

Examining the delicious unfairness of the wild card

Five questions about the Astros-Royals ALDS

Ahmad Brooks out against Giants after death of sister

Jessica Mendoza responds to sexist rant from Mike Bell

Gronk: Have to be ‘super smart’ to play Tight End for Patriots

Cruz ‘thoroughly convinced’ he’ll be making big plays in 2015

Roger Goodell taking a guarded approach on daily fantasy sites

Three reasons each AL team can win the pennant

Stallone on Kelly: ‘I don’t think it’s time for Chip’s ahoy yet’

Cubs made statement, but face lingering questions

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

"Friday Night Lights" writer calls Chip Kelly a fraud

Women in sports this week: Is this 2015 or 1965?

Three reasons each AL team can win the pennant

Garrett addresses Hardy's comments about Gisele

Five outrageous predictions for NFL Week 5

Rex makes players do push-ups in practice after penalty calls

Weeden compares QB situation to 'backing up Derek Jeter'

Pirates fan dresses as Steve Bartman, fails to curse Cubs

LeBron takes in-game selfie with fans in Cincinnati

MLB postseason power rankings

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker