Thankfully, it was just a regular season game in April, but the ghost of Steve Bartman was present at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Sunday. With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the eighth, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus fouled off a 2-2 Mike Morin fastball, sending it towards the stands down the right field line. Right fielder Kole Calhoun dashed after it and appeared to have an opportunity to make a play on it, but the ball found a fan’s glove first.
First base umpire Jim Reynolds initially ruled that it was simply a foul ball. Angels manager Mike Scioscia came out to Reynolds to challenge the ruling. Upon replay review, the umpires reversed the ruling, calling Andrus out. Rangers manager Jeff Banister was none too pleased and was immediately ejected for arguing the call.
Here’s video of the play:
[mlbvideo id=”90643483″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]
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.