Carlos Beltran suffers right toe bruise on hit-by-pitch

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Carlos Beltran made an early exit from today’s Grapefruit League game against the Marlins after he was hit on the right foot by a pitch from right-hander Jacob Turner in the first inning. While the veteran outfielder was diagnosed with a right toe bruise after X-rays ruled out a fracture, he told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com that he was in a lot of pain.

“I tried not to think about it, and tried to run regular around the bases, but then it got sore,” Beltran said, before adding, “It’s painful. It’s painful.”

The injury comes just two days before Beltran is scheduled to join his native Puerto Rico for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. While he’s considered day-to-day right now, he didn’t rule out the possibility that it could affect his participation in the tournament.

Beltran, who turns 36 in April, batted .269/.346/.495 with 32 home runs, 97 RBI and an .842 OPS last season. He’s owed $13 million this season.

Reds are the frontrunner for Nicholas Castellanos

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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.