As noted by MLB.com’s Jake Kaplan, Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria finished 1-for-4 with a strikeout in his first minor league rehab game on Saturday evening with the Triple-A Durham Bulls.
Longoria is getting the day off Sunday but will resume his rehab assignment on Monday night and should be back in the bigs within the next 7-10 days.
“I felt good out there,” Longoria told reporters after Saturday’s debut. “I was very satisfied with the way I felt. I felt like all my swings were as hard as I could, and I didn’t feel any pain or soreness or grabbing. The running was fine. All positive things. … Just trying to get at-bats, pile at-bats up, see some good pitching.”
The 26-year-old has been sidelined since tearing his left hamstring on the last day of April. He’ll return to the .329/.433/.561 batting line, four home runs and 19 RBI that he cultivated in 23 games before the injury.
The Rays are currently 36-29, three-and-a-half games back of the Yankees in the American League East.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
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.