Reds: Nick Castellanos’ injury could have been devastating

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) is hit by a pitch.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) is hit by a pitch. /

The Cincinnati Reds avoided disaster on Friday night after it was revealed that Nick Castellanos did not suffer any broken bones after being hit by a pitch and would return to the field in the next couple days.

If there’s one player on this team that David Bell cannot afford to lose, it’s Nick Castellanos. The Reds have already suffered massive casualties this season with injuries to Mike Moustakas, Nick Senzel, Tejay Antone, Lucas Sims, and others. However, losing Castellanos for any length of time is a virtual death sentence for this team.

Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos is day-to-day after being hit by a pitch.

The Cincinnati Reds were plunked three times last night and now lead the league in hit-by-pitches with 70. Jonathan India leads the way with 14. Kyle Farmer has been bruised 13 times this season, and Eugenio Suarez has been drilled six times himself. Friday evening represented the third such time Castellanos took one for the team.

Castellanos, who led off the bottom of the fourth inning for the Redlegs, was tattooed by a 94-MPH fastball from Milwaukee Brewers’ starter Adrian Houser. There didn’t seem to be any intent on the part of Houser, though it appeared as though Castellanos did have something to say to Brewers’ skipper Craig Counsell.

Nick Castellanos appeared to offer at the pitch, but the ball landed squarely on the Reds’ right fielder’s wrist. Whether Counsell was questioning that Castellanos swung or that the ball hit the bat, we’ll never know. Regardless, Castellanos stayed in the game and later scored on a double by Eugenio Suarez.

Castellanos eventually exited the game and was replaced in right field during the next half-inning by Aristides Aquino. Castellanos was later seen in the dugout, which was a welcome sign to the Cincinnati faithful. Losing the game was bad enough, but had the Reds lost Castellanos for any significant amount of time, any ideas the team had of making the postseason would have been dashed.

Any momentum the Reds had came to a screeching halt once Castellanos exited the game. With Cincinnati leading 4-1 after the fourth inning, Milwaukee closed the gap with two runs in fifth. Despite getting one back in the bottom half of the fifth inning, the Brewers went ahead for good in the top of there sixth inning and put up a five-spot in the eighth.

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Thank goodness that the news on Nick Castellanos is positive. It sounds as though the All-Star could be back in the lineup as early as tonight, but don’t be surprised if David Bell gives his slugger another night off. We could easily see Tyler Naquin slide over to right field and Shogo Akiyama could get the center.