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Video: Álex Romero attacks catcher Gabriel Lino with bat during Venezuelan winter league game

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Outfielder Álex Romero last played in the majors over a decade ago, spending the 2008-09 seasons with the Diamondbacks, putting up a forgettable .239/.279/.339 triple-slash line over 299 plate appearances. What he did on Wednesday during a Venezuelan winter league game will not be forgotten.

Tensions rose during Wednesday’s game between Caribes de Anzoátegui and Águilas del Zulia. The benches had already cleared and order had temporarily been restored — following a number of ejections — when Romero took his place in the batter’s box against Ángel Nesbitt in the eighth inning. With a 3-0 count in a 13-1 game, Nesbitt threw a fastball behind Romero. Romero immediately swung his bat at catcher Gabriel Lino. He swung the bat again before dashing away as the benches emptied once again.

Here’s the video, via Daniel Álvarez Montes of El Extrabase:

The ejections:

  • 7th inning: DH Jairo Perez (Águilas), 2B Yosmany Guerra (Águilas), manager Jackson Melian (Caribes), DH Denis Phipps (Caribes)
  • 8th inning: 1B Willians Astudillo (Caribes), C Gabriel Lino (Caribes), P Ángel Nesbitt (Caribes), Cesar Valera (Caribes), P Luis Rengel (Caribes), P Álex Romero (Águilas)

Caribes went on to win, 13-2. It will be interesting to see what kind of punishment gets handed down to Romero for his arguably criminal actions.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders 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 already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, 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.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.