WASHINGTON—If third baseman Carlos Rivero's winter is any indication, he won't have long to wait before he receives his first chance at playing in the big leagues.
Coming off a solid season at Triple-A Syracuse, the 24-year-old showed additional power in the Venezuelan League. He matched his regular-season home run total of 10 in just 205 at-bats, while hitting .283/.365/.498 with 14 doubles for Caracas.
Rivero, a waiver claim from the Phillies in November 2011, successfully carried over the lessons he learned in Triple-A, where he hit .303/.347/.435 in 455 at-bats and made the postseason International League all-star team.
"He made a nice adjustment this year working with (Chiefs hitting coach) Troy Gingrich," farm director Doug Harris said of the righthanded-hitting Rivero. "He shortened his swing and improved his bat path."
Third base is not the ideal position to play in an organization that features big leaguer Ryan Zimmerman and top prospect Anthony Rendon, but the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Rivero also played shortstop and first base for Syracuse.
IL managers chose Rivero, who signed with the Indians out of Venezuela in 2005, as the best defensive third baseman in their league. He earned the distinction of having the best infield arm in the Cleveland system after the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
"He's a good defender with an above-average arm, and he can play multiple positions," Harris said. "He's carried those adjustments into winter ball and has continued to perform at a high level."
After vaulting as high as No. 11 on the Indians' prospect list and then making the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars Game in 2009, Rivero's 2010 season ended after 406 at-bats at Double-A when he fractured his left wrist and had surgery.
• The Nationals promoted Tripp Keister, who guided the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League club in 2012, to low Class A Hagerstown. Hagerstown manager Brian Daubach takes over at high Class A Potomac. Patrick Anderson will be the new GCL manager.
• Gary Thurman is the organization's new outfield and baserunning coordinator. He replaces Tony Tarasco, Washington's new first-base coach.