Feb 19, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Ender Inciarte poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
One night after using him as a pinch hitter in a crucial situation, the Dbacks optioned struggling outfielder Rodger Kieschnick to Triple A Reno and recalled outfielder Ender Inciarte. This was a move the Dbacks had to make. Kieschnick was called up as an extra outfielder when Mark Trumbo was put on the D.L. Since being called up last week, he was 0-7 with five strikeouts. In 84 at bats with the Giants last year, he struck out 29 times. Do the math and he would average somewhere in the 200 strikeout range over a full season. That is Mark Reynolds territory. It is obvious that he is not ready for the big leagues and the Snakes made the right move sending him down.
Kieschnick was used as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded and one out in the 6th inning and the Dbacks only down one run instead of veterans Cody Ross and Martin Prado who were both on the bench. Kieschnick struck out and didn’t come close to making contact with any of the pitches he saw. Manager Kirk Gibson talked about Rodger’s struggles while with the big league club with MLB.com: “Roger struggled, and [I] felt he was a little overmatched right now,” Gibson said. “Just felt like he needed a little relief. Ender gives us a little different perspective defensively. He’s a guy with pretty good speed so he gives us another guy like that. Just felt we should switch them out.”
Inciarte can play all three outfield positions and has very good speed. He was selected by the Phillies in the 2012 Rule 5 draft and made their Opening Day Roster, but he was sent to Arizona and never appeared in a big league game. He is not in the lineup today. He was in the middle of a eight game hitting streak hitting .364 with 12 hits in 33 at bats. So far this season he has a .807 OPS with 12 RBI, 22 runs scored, four doubles, two triples, and two home runs.
Gibson talked about Inciarte: “He’s a very good defender, all three positions,” Gibson said of Inciarte, who was due to arrive at Chase Field by first pitch. “He’s got speed; handles the bat probably a little better. Initially we went with Roger because he had a little more pop. Ender, I think, is maybe a guy, maybe more of a contact guy, a guy who can bunt; you can maybe move some runners with as well. Definitely steal bases, yeah.”
The Snakes can use him to provide a spark and cause havoc on the bases. He had seven stolen bases in nine attempts which is more than any other Dbacks player. Not only are the Dbacks struggling to steal bases, they are struggling to throw opposing runners out. We will see what kind of impact he can make with the Snakes.