As of a couple of days ago, the Dodgers were holding out hope that Chad Billingsley might be able to contribute as a reliever later this month. That dream is now dead, as he was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday.
Left-hander Steven Rodriguez, a 2012 second-round pick who was pitching for the Florida Gators a couple of months ago, was called up to join the bullpen.
Billingsley was having a nice bounce-back season before his elbow shut him down last month. He won seven straight starts from July 23-Aug. 19, and he was 10-9 with a 3.55 ERA when he went on the disabled list.
Without Billingsley and Ted Lilly, the Dodgers are currently going with a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, Josh Beckett, Aaron Harang and Joe Blanton. Lilly, out since late May with a sore shoulder, threw a simulated game Wednesday and is hoping to rejoin the Dodgers later this month, but he lacks the time necessary to get stretched out to start.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”
The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already 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. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.
Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. 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. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.