ATLANTA -- The Phillies believe they have found a more suitable fifth outfielder than Rule 5 Draft pick Ender Inciarte.
On Tuesday, they claimed outfielder Ezequiel Carrera off waivers from Cleveland. He hit .272 with six doubles, three triples, two home runs, 11 RBIs, eight stolen bases and a .707 OPS in 158 plate appearances last season with the Indians. The Phils designated Inciarte for assignment to make room for Carrera on the 40-man roster.
Carrera, 25, is expected to be with Philadelphia in time for Wednesday's game against the Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta.
"He's got a little more experience," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "Offensively, he's a little more advanced than Inciarte right now. Inciarte may have been a little better all-around defender, although we think Ezequiel's got more speed. But his versatility and speed were important to us. Again, this is the 25th man, but we think we've marginally improved."
The Phils selected Inciarte from the Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 Draft in December. He impressed with his glove and speed early in Spring Training, although a couple of errors late last month convinced the Phillies they needed more help in the outfield, especially considering the 22-year-old Inciarte had never played above Class A in the Minor Leagues.
Because Inciarte, who did not play in Monday's season opener, was a Rule 5 Draft pick, Philadelphia was required to keep him on the 25-man roster the entire season or risk losing him. The same rule will apply if a team claims Inciarte off waivers. But if he clears waivers, the D-backs will have the option of taking him back, although they would have to pay the Phillies $25,000, half of what the Phils paid to select him in the Rule 5 Draft.
"We didn't like the idea of having to lose Inciarte as a result of this," Amaro said. "But this is part of the game."
The D-backs are expected to reclaim Inciarte, although Amaro said they will try to work out a trade.
Indians manager Terry Francona said during Spring Training they knew they would lose Carrerra, who can play all three outfield positions, if they placed him on waivers.
"His speed impacts the game," Francona said last month. "He's got the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark occasionally. He can be an interesting part of the bench, when he can change a game with his speed. He's a good little player."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.