Getty Images

Video: Ender Inciarte christens SunTrust Park with its first home run

4 Comments

It was a night of firsts for the Braves when they opened SunTrust Park to the public for the first time during the regular season. Following the fanfare of the opening ceremonies, which featured MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones and Bobby Cox and singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips, among others, center fielder Ender Inciarte snagged a first-pitch fly ball and recorded the first out in SunTrust history.

In the bottom of the first inning, Inciarte kicked things off again with the Braves’ first hit in the new park, a leadoff single on a 1-2 count from San Diego right-hander Jhoulys Chacin. Two batters later, Nick Markakis plated the first run, bringing Inciarte and Freddie Freeman home to score on a two-run double. The Braves’ two-run lead evaporated in the second inning, however, when Atlanta starter Julio Teheran had the unfortunate distinction of allowing the first runs to an opposing team, serving up back-to-back RBI singles to Chacin and Manuel Margot.

By the sixth, with the Braves hanging onto a 3-2 lead after a Julio Teheran single in the fourth, Inciarte had another first to record: the first SunTrust home run. He plucked a 3-1 pitch and drove it over the right field wall, driving in Emilio Bonifacio and padding Atlanta’s lead for their eventual 5-2 win.

You can see Inciarte’s full highlight reel below:

[mlbvideo id=”1285050283″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Reds are the frontrunner for Nicholas Castellanos

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.