Ryan Vogelsong and Freddy Sanchez likely to begin season on the disabled list

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Ryan Vogelsong and Freddy Sanchez are both making progress from their respective injuries, but neither are expected to be on the Giants’ active roster come Opening Day.

Vogelsong was slowed in the early days of camp due to back spasms and just made his first appearance of the spring yesterday during a minor league game. He threw only 24 pitches and likely won’t be stretched out in time for Opening Day, so Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that they are considering skipping his first turn in the rotation and starting him when the team first needs a fifth starter on April 15.

“We’re being cautious and he knows that, Bochy said of Vogelsong, who strained his lower back in the weight room in early February. “We’ll take this slow. We’re not going to push him to get him ready for his first start.”

As for Sanchez, he is currently working his way back from season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder last August. The 34-year-old is expected to make his first start at second base this weekend in a minor league game, but the Giants have given him the option not to throw on ground balls in the hole if he doesn’t feel comfortable.

That doesn’t sound like someone who is anywhere close to ready and Bochy admits there’s a “strong possibility” that Sanchez will begin the year on the disabled list. Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot will likely fill in at second base until he’s ready to go.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal worth $64 million. The contract includes opt-outs after both 2020 and 2021, which is certainly good for Castellanos, allowing him to go back out on the market if he has a big year. Odd that the Reds would agree to that, but on an annual basis it’s kind of a bargain for them so you figure that has something to do with it.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.