The Diamondbacks will open play tonight 9.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and seven back for a Wild Card spot, but while it will take a remarkable run to secure a playoff spot, they are getting reinforcements back for the stretch run. Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that catcher Miguel Montero and infielder Eric Chavez have been activated from the disabled list while infielder Matt Davidson and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch have been optioned back to the minors.
Montero has been out all month with a lower back strain. This has been a disappointing year for the 30-year-old backstop, as he owns a .228/.316/.345 batting line to go along with nine home runs and 34 RBI, but the Diamondbacks will have to hope that the extended rest will allow him to finish strong.
Chavez, sidelined since August 9 with hip and knee injuries, is batting .299/.343/.526 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 62 games this season. His return gives Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson the ability to rely on Martin Prado more in left field moving forward.
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.