Great Reds start for Moustakas, Castellanos

February 25th, 2020

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds fans were waiting for this moment. On Monday, they finally got to see it.

For the first time, Cincinnati showcased its two new sluggers in the middle of its lineup -- batted third and was at cleanup, with the duo slotting in nicely behind No. 2 hitter . The early results? Quite impressive.

Moustakas and Castellanos each delivered big hits in their Reds debuts in a 9-6 win over the Rangers at Goodyear Ballpark. Moustakas reached base in all three of his plate appearances, hitting a leadoff homer in the third inning, while Castellanos went 1-for-3 with a fourth-inning RBI double.

“It’s good to see them in Reds uniforms,” manager David Bell said. “They looked really good. It’s their first day out, but timing looked good, they looked ready, aggressive. They were taking aggressive swings and seeing the ball well.”

The Reds signed Moustakas to be their starting second baseman on Dec. 5, then inked Castellanos to a deal on Jan. 27. That gave Votto, a six-time All-Star and the 2010 National League MVP, some much-needed protection in the lineup.

It’s possible this won’t be the exact lineup configuration the Reds use for Votto, Castellanos and Moustakas during the season. They’ll also need to find a place for All-Star third baseman Eugenio Suárez, who has swatted 83 home runs over the past two seasons, including a career-high 49 last year.

Injury report
• There were positive updates for outfielder Jesse Winker (left forearm contusion) and infielder Matt Davidson (right hand contusion), both of whom left Sunday’s game vs. the White Sox after getting hit by pitches. Winker underwent X-rays that showed there is no fracture in his left wrist, and Bell said both players will be out for only a few days.

“Very positive, nothing longer than that, which is great,” Bell said.

• Boog Powell will miss “a day or two,” according to Bell, after the outfielder fell during a play at first base Sunday.

• Bell said that outfielder Nick Senzel continues to progress in his throwing program during his recovery from shoulder surgery. He didn’t state when Senzel could play in his first spring game, but it may not be long from now.

“We’re focusing so much on his throwing progression that we’ll add [hitting] in quickly,” Bell said. “It’s not that he can’t do it. We’re letting him focus all his energy on getting his arm healthy.”

Honoring Mamba
During the Reds’ Monday morning workouts at the team’s complex, Moustakas and Votto both wore sweatshirts that featured the logo of the Mamba Sports Academy, which was founded by the late Kobe Bryant.

Around the same time, the public memorial for Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the other seven people who died in a late-January helicopter crash was taking place at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Reds HOF hosting Negro Leagues exhibit
The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum now has a new exhibit. "Shades of Greatness" is a collaborative art exhibition that is currently on loan from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

The exhibit features 35 pieces of original art that highlight the history of the Negro Leagues. It will be on display at the Reds HOF through April 17.

“We are proud to showcase an important part of our game’s history by hosting "Shades of Greatness" from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,” Reds Hall of Fame & Museum executive director Rick Walls said. “And as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, we are honored to raise additional awareness about the impact they had throughout the African-American community and professional baseball.”

Up next
José De León will make his Reds debut when the team travels to Tempe, Ariz., to face the Angels on Tuesday at 3:10 p.m. ET, which can be watched live on MLB.TV. De León, Cincinnati’s No. 29 prospect per MLB Pipeline, was acquired in a trade from Tampa Bay on Nov. 20. The 27-year-old right-hander was originally scheduled to pitch during Saturday’s Cactus League opener that was rained out, so he threw live batting practice that day instead. Left-hander Josh Smith and right-handers Alex Powers and Tony Santillan are also scheduled to pitch vs. the Halos.