04/03/2013 7:00 PM ET
Newly acquired Carrera could help Phillies with speed
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- Ezequiel Carrera has speed, and he thinks he can use that speed to help the Phillies.
The Phillies on Tuesday claimed Carrera off waivers from the Indians, and he was in uniform for Wednesday's game against the Braves at Turner Field. Carrera stole 11-of-13 bases (84.6 percent) in Spring Training to lead all of baseball. He is 18-for-24 (75 percent) stealing bases in his big league career and 187-for-253 (73.9 percent) in his Minor League career.
"I was more aggressive in Spring Training in trying some things, and the results were the 11 stolen bases," Carrera said through his translator, Phillies first-base coach Juan Samuel. "It's always been a part of my game, the speed. But I took more chances in Spring Training and they paid off. … I realized it was something I could do. Bringing it into the season, I have more confidence I can be a good basestealer."
Carrera hit .272 with six doubles, three triples, two home runs, 11 RBIs and a .707 OPS in 158 plate appearances last season with Cleveland. The Phillies consider him a more polished version of Rule 5 Draft pick Ender Inciarte, whom the team placed on waivers Tuesday to make room for Carrera on the 40-man roster.
Carrera also said he is comfortable playing all three outfield positions.
"I'm very happy for the opportunity I'm going to get here," he said. "I believe I can help the club win some ballgames. Whatever it takes, I'll try to help."
Manuel not worried about Young at third base
ATLANTA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel reiterated Tuesday that he is completely confident in Michael Young's abilities at third base.
But Young had trouble with a couple of ground balls in Monday's season opener against the Braves at Turner Field. He had a ball go off his glove in the fourth inning that was ruled a double. He later had a ball pop out of his glove on another grounder. He made the throw to first, with Ryan Howard making a nice pick to get the out.
"He's going to bobble some balls," Manuel said. "Everybody we put over there is going to bobble some balls. Brooks Robinson used to bobble balls. That's part of the game. When somebody says he has trouble fielding just because a ball gets by him or he bobbles a ball, it doesn't mean he's not a good fielder. That's one. If you sit there and see him botching three or four a game or something, then yeah we've got a major problem. But Michael is fine there."
Delmon returns to outfield action in Clearwater
ATLANTA -- Delmon Young is back in the outfield, but his timetable to join the Phillies remains unclear.
Young, who is recovering from right ankle surgery, played in extended spring training games Tuesday and Wednesday in Clearwater, Fla. They were his first games in the outfield.
"He's still got a little bit of a gimp," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "But he's running a little bit smoother. I haven't seen the stuff for today, but just looking at some of the film from yesterday, he's moving better.
"That's probably right. He's seen a lot of live action hitting-wise, because we're getting him a lot of at-bats. He's getting at least five a day. So he's seeing pitches, and that helps. He's not 100 percent, but he's progressing more each day, it seems like. Don't really have a timetable on him. We'll see."
Kratz's commercial draws attention, ribbing
ATLANTA -- Erik Kratz is a Tony Award hopeful, but a CLIO Award seems more likely.
It has been difficult to miss his commercials for Godschall's turkey bacon during Phillies broadcasts, most notably one in which he talks to a cartoon turkey dressed as a pig. The commercial has gone viral locally.
"I had a blast," the catcher said Wednesday at Turner Field. "I don't know if commercials are my forte, but I had fun."
Kratz's father, Floyd Kratz, is a co-owner of the company, so he asked his son if he would help.
"A lot of people think they're cool," Kratz said.
And his teammates?
"Teammates make fun of me," he said.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.