2020 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Ender Inciarte

60 Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves trading cards for sale

Coming off an injury-plagued 2019 season, Ender Inciarte was not able to turn things around in the abbreviated 2020 season. The sad numbers: .190/.262/.250, including only 4 extra base hits in his 116 at bats. It’s the second consecutive lost season for Ender, whose 2019 was limited to 65 games by a lumbar strain and then a hamstring injury.

Inciarte is owed $8.7 million for the 2021 season, and has a $1.02 million buyout for 2022. The Braves weren’t willing to part ways with Ender during the regular season, but he was dropped from the playoff roster in favor of Cristian Pache. This is widely thought to foreshadow their plans for 2021.

It’s hard to come up with anything optimistic to say. If you want a little bigger sample size, then reaching back to 2019 we find a .246/.343/.397 line in 230 plate appearances. The .246 batting average is a far cry from the .291 – .304 range Ender put up from 2015 – 2017, but the OBP and slugging percentage would fall into the mid-range of those years.

Ender Inciarte just turned 30 in October, and 2017 is well in the rearview mirror. A former Gold Glove centerfielder and 20+ base stealer, Inciarte will need to avoid the lower body issues he suffered in 2019 if he is going to recover positive productivity. Time is starting to work against him, but let’s hope all Ender needs to do is keep those legs healthy to start a bounce back at age 30, whether in Atlanta or elsewhere.

Thanks for reading. If you missed our Roster Update yesterday, you can find it here.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

50 thoughts on “2020 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Ender Inciarte”

  1. JC’d

    From Chief:

    Me: Buys 4 suite tickets for last years series in Phoenix with the Diamondbacks for all four games. For a nice chunk of change…

    Actually, Mrs. Nocahoma does…

    Pandemic hits… Series cancelled…

    Email from ticket company goes to spam giving me a deadline to get money back. I don’t see it.

    Call ticket company and ask what can we do…

    “Cannot give you your money back, or we’d go broke… as a company… but we can give you the amount in credit for next year…”

    Me: OK sure…

    Months pass. The Dodgers roll.

    Fauci: No fans until the Summer.

    The “credit” expires in April…

    FML.

  2. JC’d

    cliff:

    @ hounddog1962

    I actually already pretty much understood it that way. Broad resistance to this disease will not be in place before mid summer.

    However, I also thought: Maybe the Hammers can offer free tickets to front line medical workers who have been vaccinated? That at least gets some battery, parking, and concession revenue going. It gives a treat for some hard working people who have been in a significant danger through this thing. You don’t have to worry about spacing the stadium.

  3. @8 – That’s a good question. I looked to see if he had any winter ball stats from last year, and I didn’t find any since back when he was with Arizona. So, I assumed he was not playing this year, but I do not know.

  4. I think you ride to the end of spring training and decide either (a) he is the 4th or 5th outfielder or (b) dfa, or (c) he bounces back enough to get at least some salary relief. Unless he can reverse what could be the effect of lingering injuries the past 2 years and get a little closer to 2018 Ender, I can’t see him holding a ML roster spot for anybody (well, maybe the pirates on a league minimum after the dfa, but not any real roster spot).

  5. I mentioned this before but what if the Cubs were willing to deal Kimbrel and even out most of $ in a deal?

    Braves get Craig Kimbrel and $6MM
    Cubs get Ender Inciarte and Sean Newcomb

    Braves get Kimbrel for $10MM in 2021, but rid themselves of $8.7MM, plus Ender’s buyout, which is equal to Kimbrel’s buyout.

    In short, the Braves get Kimbrel for $1.3MM by attaching a former first round pick to Ender and then have an option to bring Kimbrel back in 2022 on what would be a 1-year deal akin to Melancon’s 2020 salary.

    Would you do it?

  6. Wow. Camargo was tendered a contract. $1.36MM. That’s less than what he made last year and I’m guessing the plan going into the 2021 season is about the same as it was in the 2020, which is to have Camargo competing with Riley for splitting time at 3B.

  7. That’s a great number for Camargo. And I mean, he deserves it. He’s really regressed. So I’m glad he’s back and I’m glad it’s at a reduction. Also makes it a lot easier to cut him if he continues his regression.

  8. Let’s just assume Kimbrel and Ender are both replacement level players at this point. Looks like Kimbrel is owed $32M and Ender is owed $16M? So Kimbrel has $16M more in negative value, plus Newcomb’s positive value, so you’d be really gambling on Kimbrel returning to form by taking on a $25M deficit (Newcomb’s positive value and Kimbrel’s additional money owed even with the $6M coming back to Atlanta). Even if I’m overestimating Newcomb’s positive value, I don’t think it bridges the gap. So I wouldn’t do this.

  9. Eddie Rosario cleared waivers. Twins can still offer him a contract, but only have until tonight to make it happen. Could become a free agent.

    Tommy Pham will be offered a contract by Pads.

  10. Nothing on Duvall or Jackson yet. I’ve thought long and hard on Duvall, and I expect he’s going to get tendered, but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk.

  11. 19 – I agree and wonder why his name has hardly been mentioned as a candidate.

    I’m glad Camargo is back, I’ve always liked him as he shares a birthday with my 6 year old daughter, so he is her favorite player.

  12. A reminder that these are non-guaranteed deals. If cut before spring, Braves would have to pay Camargo around $200K and Dayton around $150K.

  13. Dusty, happy upcoming to her! She has quite a birthday, sharing it with Hall of Famers Ferguson Jenkins and Larry Doby, as well as Tyler Pastornicky, Mike Mordecai, and a perfectly average Boston Bean, Hank Majeski. Her best current birthdaymate is Gleyber Torres, so I congratulate you for her not liking him instead.

    I wish Camargo’s bat and glove would live up to his birthday.

  14. I wouldn’t be in any hurry to just throw Ender away. It’s not certain that Pache will hit right from the start. He’s only 22, didn’t play any appreciable amount of baseball last season, and was topping out in the .270’s at AA when he did last play.

    The most likely case is that 2021 Pache hits at least as well as 2021 Ender, with better defense, but it’s far from a slam dunk.

  15. At this point, to me, Ender Inciarte is an empty Amazon box. We already paid for the stuff in it that was worth anything and now it’s just an empty shell. Maybe we could get some more use out of it if we kept it around long enough, but most likely it’ll just take up space on the floor.

  16. “Empty Amazon box.” The great literary tradition of Braves Journal meets modern e- commerce. Well played, Mr. Remington.

  17. 19 Ryan seemed more in tune with the possibility than any Atlanta media types or Mlbtr for that matter.

    Hoping this means springer or Ozuna.

  18. Non tendering Duvall makes no sense unless they have another deal in play. If they re-sign markakis I swear to God…

  19. Paying Luke Jackson 1.9MM but letting go a guy that hit 16 HR in 57 games is just peak Atlanta Braves, IMO.

    Just gross. 1.9M for a replacement level player (possibly much worse in his off years) is just silly. Jackson’s career WAR is -0.2. He is just a guy, that does at least have a mostly rubber arm.

  20. Camargo didn’t look like he was enjoying himself last year – lacked a spark. He seemed a candidate for a change of scenery. Hope it works out for him and the Braves

  21. Non-tendering Duvall makes some sense. Where it goes wrong is when it’s combined with tendering Camargo and Luke. Just a bizarre day.

  22. Don’t really want Kimbrel back, especially as he’s a former Braves who’s a shadow of what he was, and I find the constant clamoring of this fanbase to bring back former Braves who are currently shadows of what they were (in this case) or were never all that great to begin with (Mike Minor) to be soul-crushingly banal.

    I’m not really directing this at Ryan or any of the contributors to this site, as they’ve come up with plenty of good trade or free agent ideas, but Braves fans on Twitter and the like sure can’t seem to think of anybody they’d like to trade for who isn’t a personal-favorite former Brave.

  23. @37

    While I don’t throw Luke Jackson into the same pile as Matt Wisler and Sean Rodriguez as far as players you’ve been big on who objectively suck (and I mean that in as friendly a way as possible., heh), I don’t see it’s possible to have any faith left in Luke Jackson. And I say that as a guy who’s typically had a pretty good opinion of Luke Jackson…not as a closer, but as someone who can absolutely be a regular member of a functioning bullpen. He was not good last year, though…to say the least.

    Bottom line, how is he going to be used? As a middle reliever and in garbage time, fine…I guess. I’m initially inclined to think that $1.9 million is a bit steep for that, but it probably isn’t. The folks on here who know a lot about contract value and stuff are constantly disabusing me of the notion that we’re overpaying some guy or other, so if somebody said $1.9 million for a middle reliever with a potential wipeout slider (on the probably worse than even shot that he’s throwing it well that day) was about right, I’d believe them. If, however, he gets anywhere near the marquee section of the bullpen, I’d just as soon have kicked his ass out to avoid even the possibility. And I don’t think it would at all be hard to get someone else in here who could give us what Luke Jackson does, so I don’t really have a problem with anybody saying they’re sick of watching him and would rather replace him with whoever.

  24. Crap. I have no idea why they would non-tender Duvall and give Jackson a contract. The Braves gave contracts to the 3 guys I would be happy to let walk and the guy who had at least a little value imo gets dumped. Hopefully things will become a little clearer in the next few weeks.

  25. We’re stuck with Ender unfortunately. No one is taking him off our hands.
    Use Duval’s money to sign Ozuna and I’m fine with the move. Ender would become Ozunas late-inning defensive replacement.

  26. My understanding is that Jackson’s contract isn’t guaranteed. So if he’s JAG in spring they will probably let him go then.

    Camargo presumably would also be in that category.

  27. @40

    I swear I thought the list was longer, but I’m humbled you’re keeping it. Wisler had a good year last year, so I stand half-right on Wisler. Really incredible how that car accident effectively ended Rodriguez’s career.

    I’m not some Jackson apologist. I’m just saying you could do a lot worse for $1.9M and the last spot of your bullpen than Jackson. Don’t lump me in with the “Luke Jackson is an elite closer” Twitter trolls because I’m definitely not there. If you get 50 league average innings out of Jackson, it’s money well spent. That’s the difference between Jackson and O’Day: if you’re looking to spend a couple million bucks, Jackson is a way better bet to give you 50 mediocre innings.

  28. So, I hate to be the guy who likes all the team’s moves (I’m less sanguine on Smyly, FWIW), but I like non-tendering Duvall. I think you can probably re-sign him for cheaper anyway, especially with how deep the OF market is, but I also don’t think he’s a great fit for the roster. He doesn’t necessarily have a platoon advantage, and if you’re looking at even paying him $5-6M (probably more), why not put that money towards simply getting a better OF and signing a Matt Joyce-type for no money for the bench? But like I said, I think they can probably get him cheaper, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back next year.

  29. Schwarber non-tendered as well. Schwarber is younger, less talented defensively, has at least as much power, but is left handed, and makes a little over twice as much money. Would you rather have Schwarber or Duvall? In that evaluation, does the money matter?

  30. @ 45,

    The reasons why yes on tendering Duvall (I have to assume that they will not be able to get any other respectable outfielder because I don’t have inside info).

    He might be a slightly higher paid 4th outfielder (if we do sign a major player or if his ability plays down), but for a playoff team, that is necessary.
    Duvall is at least league average as a left fielder and probably just under as a right fielder. He could play center for a game here or there if you have mass injuries and are doing major roster shuffles.
    You only owe 1/6th now, 1/4th once spring training starts.
    Camargo and Jackson both seem very fungible to me. Like, we can EASILY find that good of a player and holding on to them doesn’t look like it appreciably makes the team better than almost certain options that will be available. This point is to say that allocating more money to Duvall and eliminating Camargo and Jackson to justify it is a smarter deal.
    Unlikely (I would peg at 10 to 20%) that Duvall is genuinely now a slightly better hitter (like say 120 to maybe 130 OPS + on regular non platooned playing time). Power and patience both are skills that seem to expand in 30ish players. AND THEREFORE
    If he plays up in 2021, then you can squeeze one more arb year at 12 million or so.

  31. Hola amigos,
    I know it’s been a long time since I wrapped at ya, but it took a while to mentally get over that whole 3-1 thing.

    How we feelin’ about the roster? Starting pitching seems set.

    The lineup? IMO they need to resign/replace an OZUNA level bat AND improve the hitting in either LF/CF/SS/3B. All 4 of those positions are a good bet to hit below or near league average right now. The playoffs showed how tough it can be when your bottom of the order turns into some auto-outs. I think SS & CF are locked with Swanson & Pache. Got to get some guys batting with an OPS+ north of 110 in LF and 3B. I am bearish on Riley after elite pitching made his bat look slow as molasses in playoffs. What does the collective wisdom of this weblog think?

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