This is going to dent the ol’ run differential. The Astros entered the night having allowed 51 more runs than they have scored, among the worst in baseball along with the Blue Jays and Marlins. The Astros are comfortably in first place in that department after getting pummeled by the Detroit Tigers 17-2 tonight, bumping that run differential to -66.
The Tigers banged out 21 hits, including three home runs (two by Miguel Cabrera), and walked five times, scoring in eight of nine innings. Five of those eight innings were multi-run innings. Astros starter Lucas Harrell was on the hook for eight runs in 4.1 innings, reliever Jose Cisnero allowed six runs in 2.2 innings, and Paul Clemens allowed three runs (two earned) in two innings.
Meanwhile, the Astros were only able to push across one run on a Carlos Corporan solo home run in the seventh. Tigers starter Max Scherzer was otherwise on point all night, allowing three hits in total while striking out eight and walking two in eight innings of work. Al Alburquerque surrendered a run in garbage time in the ninth inning.
Surprisingly, tonight wasn’t even the Astros’ worst game of the season, pitching-wise. They surrendered 19 runs to the Indians on April 19 in a 19-6 loss.
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.