Justin Morneau placed on 7-day concussion disabled list

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Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies have placed first baseman Justin Morneau on the 7-day concussion disabled list. He’s currently dealing with a neck strain and concussion symptoms.

The symptoms apparently stem from when he attempted to dive for a ground ball during Wednesday’s game against the Angels. Morneau was only known to be dealing with a neck issue until now, but given his history of concussions, this news is obviously concerning. Wilin Rosario figures to get most of the playing time at first base during his absence.

After winning the National League batting crown in his first season with Colorado in 2014, Morneau was batting .290/.317/.450 with three home runs and nine RBI through his first 27 games this 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.