Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado was diagnosed with pneumonia earlier this week and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes that there’s a “good chance” his season is over.
Arenado left Sunday’s game against the Cardinals after he aggravated a chest contusion on a diving play, but an MRI and a CT scan on Monday showed some fluid in his lungs and signs of early-onset pneumonia. He’s feeling better, but there simply might not be enough time left on the calendar for him to get back into a game. The last-place Rockies obviously have no reason to push it.
Arenado has taken a strong step forward during his sophomore season in the majors, batting .287/.328/.500 with 18 home runs and 61 RBI over 111 games. While the 23-year-old missed five weeks with a fractured finger and could see his season end prematurely, he should be in the mix for a second straight Gold Glove award.
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.