Arizona Diamondbacks add speed element with Ender Inciarte
PHOENIX — Good speed. Good arm. Puts the ball in play.
That’s the book on outfielder Ender Inciarte was recalled by the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, replacing outfielder Roger Kieschnick, who was optioned to Triple-A Reno.
“Just felt, switch ‘em out,” manager Kirk Gibson explained ahead of the series finale against the Colorado Rockies Wednesday.
Inciarte, 23, was in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak (.364, 12-for-33) when he got the big league promotion. In 26 games as the Reno Aces’ center fielder, he hit .312 (34-for-109) with four doubles, two triples, two home runs, 12 RBI and 22 runs scored.
“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.”
Inciarte’s seven stolen bases (in nine attempts) are three more than any current Diamondbacks player and account for half of the Reno’s overall total.
“When you look at speed,” Gibson said, “yeah, it’s something you can utilize offensively and defensively. We’re hoping that can help, certainly.”
In 2013, Inciarte made the Philadelphia Phillies’ Opening Day roster after being a 2012 Rule 5 Draft selection, but he did not appear in a game and was subsequently returned to the Diamondbacks.
Kieschnick, meanwhile, appeared in four games, going 0-for-7 with five strikeouts, including one with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth inning of what was a 5-4 loss on Tuesday.
“Roger struggled and felt that he was a little overmatched right now,” Gibson said. “I mean he did play well in Triple-A. And we put him through a pretty tough — he traveled the red-eye to the game that he played in Chicago and put him into some tough situations and he struggled; just felt like he needed some relief.”