Pablo Sandoval homered three times on Wednesday. Anibal Sanchez gets the start tonight. Miguel Cabrera, Avisail Garcia, Omar Infante, Marco Scutaro, Gregor Blanco, Jose Mijares and Hector Sanchez are on rosters. Venezuela is well represented in this World Series.
And someone is very happy about that: Hugo Chavez:
He referred to President Barack Obama as he joked: “I think the next World Series, Obama, you’re going to have to play it here in Venezuela, because it’s Venezuelans all over the place.”
The Venezuelan president praised Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval for hitting three home runs in Game 1.
“What would the major leagues do if Venezuela didn’t exist? They’d get bored,” Chavez said, recalling that the homers hit by “Kung Fu Panda” sailed “to right field, to left field, to center field.”
That’s well and good, but who is he rooting for?
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.