Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun laid out and robbed Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores of what likely would have been a triple — a double, at least — on a fly ball to right-center field with two outs in the second inning. Braun then came to the plate with a man aboard and no outs in the top of the third and blasted a Bartolo Colon offering into the second deck at Citi Field. Not a bad start to the night.
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Braun wasn’t done, though. He homered again in the eighth inning off of reliever Carlos Torres, pushing the Brewers’ lead to 7-0.
Following the two-homer night, Braun is hitting .256/.328/.471 with eight home runs and 21 RBI on the year.
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.