Nick Castellanos spent the first six years of his career in the American League, mostly as a third baseman then as an outfielder and occasionally as a DH. He was sent to the National League at the trade deadline last year, joining the Cubs for an ultimately failed run at a postseason berth. Castellanos remained in the National League, joining the Reds in January on a four-year deal worth $64 million.
Per John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Castellanos said, “I don’t want to DH. I chose to come to the Reds, first and foremost, I believe they can win. But also, I like being in National League where I get to play defense every day. A goal of mine is to become a better and better defender every year that I play – every game that I play is probably a more appropriate answer.”
With the pandemic-shortened 60-game season, Major League Baseball brought the DH rule to the National League. Many believe the DH is here to stay, which is bad news for Castellanos. He will likely benefit from it, though, as it will allow him to continue contributing with the bat when his body needs a break, and it will allow him to extend his career into his mid- and late-30’s, and possibly his 40’s.
Castellanos’ desire to play defense leaves the Reds with four other players — Nick Senzel, Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winker, and Phillip Ervin — for two starting outfield jobs and the DH spot. It would seem likely that the Reds would put Akiyama in left, Senzel in center, Castellanos in right, and Winker at DH with Ervin being used off the bench.