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.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.