According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the Phillies announced this morning that Rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte has won a spot on the team’s Opening Day roster.
Inciarte was selected from the Diamondbacks in December’s Rule 5 Draft. The 22-year-old is batting .276 (8-for-29) with one double and a .364 on-base percentage in 25 games this spring.
Known for his speed and defense in center field, Inciarte owns a .283/.347/.367 batting line over five seasons in the minors. While he has never played a game above the High-A level, the Phillies will keep him around as a fifth outfielder. He must stay on the major league roster all season or be offered back to Arizona.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.
First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.
More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:
The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.