Former Reds' All-Star teammate gives Jonathan India advice on switching to outfield

Jonathan India received from friendly advice from a familiar face.

Cincinnati Reds infielder Jonathan India practices outfield throws during spring training workouts.
Cincinnati Reds infielder Jonathan India practices outfield throws during spring training workouts. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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In case you weren't aware, Jonathan India is close friends with former Cincinnati Reds slugger Nick Castellanos. During their tenure together in 2021, India and Castellanos formed a tight-knit bond and the two workout together during the offseason.

While Castellanos' two-year stint in Cincinnati saw the former All-Star spend most of his time in right field, Castellanos originally came up through the Detroit Tigers organization as a third baseman. From 2014-2017, Castellanos logged the majority of his playing time at the hot corner before moving to the outfield.

The current Philadelphia Phillies star had some advice for his former teammate. Castellanos told India to keep it simple. In a conversation with MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, India said, "He (Castellanos) said enjoy yourself, don't make it too hard."

Former Reds' All-Star teammate, Nick Castellanos, gives Jonathan India advice on switching to outfield

If there was ever a great mentor for Jonathan India to listen to when it comes to switching from the infield dirt to the outfield grass, it's Nick Castellanos. No offense to one of the Cincinnati Reds' 2021 All-Stars, but Castellanos' defense at third base was horrific throughout his career.

In his four seasons at third base with the Tigers, Castellanos was worth -45 defensive runs saved (DRS) according to FanGraphs. India's defense at second base has been equally as bad, recording -21 DRS throughout his first three seasons in the big leagues.

But Castellanos didn't let his poor defensive efforts, nor a move to the outfield, affect his swing. In fact, Castellanos seems to think it actually helped. India shared that Castellanos helped his hitting, saying, "You have a lot more time to think about your at-bats."

India is entering spring training knowing that he'll no longer be considered the Cincinnati Reds' everyday second baseman. That role will likely go to Matt McLain, though India will see some time at the keystone as well. Look for the University of Florida alum to find playing time all over the diamond, including first, second, and third base, as well as the outfield. India will also see time as the Reds' DH.

Castellanos left the Reds after a successful 2021 season saw him go to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career and lead the team in RBIs. If India can find similar success in 2024, the Reds' brass will be extremely happy, and may have found a way to fill that void of a right-handed hitting outfielder without going outside the organization.

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