After missing two games with an ankle injury, Adam Jones is back in the Orioles’ lineup as the designated hitter tonight against the Astros.
Jones sprained his left ankle on a slide into home plate on Thursday night and hasn’t played since Friday, but the swelling has subsided and he told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com that he felt fine after running in the outfield this afternoon. While he’d rather be playing center field, he acknowledged that he shouldn’t “try to be Superman right now.”
Jones is off to another strong start this season, batting .304/.343/.457 with six home runs and 26 RBI across 48 games.
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.