The Phillies have claimed 25-year-old outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off of waivers from the Indians. In doing so, they have designated Rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte for assignment. The Phillies could try to work out a trade with the Diamondbacks in order to keep Inciarte in their system. Otherwise, Arizona has the right to reclaim him for a nominal fee.
So who is Carrera?
He brings a similar skill set to Inciarte, good stolen base numbers (18-of-23 in 384 career plate appearances) and the ability to play center field. He doesn't bring power (22 extra base hits in 384 plate appearances, a .347 slugging percentage), or on base percentage (.306 for his career). As for defense, UZR has him as an average to slightly below average defender.
Here's a story from Cleveland Plain-Dealer beat writer Paul Hoynes on Carrera, who apparently played well in spring training.
. . .Ezequiel Carrera, the sometimes erratic, sometimes fantastic outfielder, who has thrilled and tormented fans for the last two years in brief, but memorable, performances.
Who can forget his major-league debut on May 11, 2011, when Carrera's pinch-hit, eighth-inning, RBI drag bunt single beat Cincinnati?
Or how about his clank job on Adam Dunn's sixth-inning fly ball on July 24 of the same year? Carrera was playing center field on that semi-sunny Sunday afternoon. He ran back to the track to catch the ball, but it bounced off the heel of his glove for an error as Omar Vizquel and Paul Konerko scored in Chicago's 4-2 victory.
After the error, Carrera looked up into the sky as if he lost the ball in the glare, apparently forgetting that he had a pair of unused sunglasses firmly perched on the bill of his cap.
In his 116 games with the Indians, he has always played at a whirlwind pace, the good and bad blurring together so that it was hard to get a good look at just what kind of player Carrera is.
Included in that piece is a quote from Indians manager Terry Francona, who says of Carrera, "His speed impacts the game." At the very least, that gives the Phillies a weapon for some pinch-hitting situations.