Jean Segura plays shortstop for first time since being struck in the face with Ryan Braun’s bat

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Brewers shortstop Jean Segura needed plastic surgery for a deep gash near his right eye after teammate Ryan Braun accidentally struck him in the face with a bat Saturday while taking warmup swings on the top step of the home dugout at Miller Park. But he did not require a disabled list stint and should be back in the starting lineup for Milwaukee for Thursday’s series opener against the Reds.

Segura was used as a pinch-hitter in Tuesday night’s win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis and he handled shortstop for a half-inning before doubling in the top of the ninth in Wednesday’s loss.

Segura is batting .244/.277/.344 with one home run and five steals in 24 games this season for the 20-8 fist-place Brewers. The 24-year-old hit .294/.329/.423 with 12 homers and 44 steals in 146 games last 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.