Sick Castellanos scratched
GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos was scratched from Friday’s lineup vs. the A’s because of illness. Phillip Ervin moved from center field to right field, while Travis Jankowski was added as the center fielder.
The Reds are taking extra measures this season to prevent the spreading of flu-like illnesses around the team.
“[Castellanos] came in this morning and had to leave,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We have a very, very strict sickness policy. He shouldn’t have even come here. We put it in place after our whole team got sick last year.”
During a 10-day, three-city road trip in September, multiple members of the club’s personnel and front office came down with the flu. Even with an expanded roster full of September callups, Bell was often shorthanded. The team even had to tap a couple of players who had already gone home for the offseason, including utility player Christian Colón.
“I had never seen anything like what happened last year,” Bell said. “That really drained the team — everybody — coaches and players.
“I don’t know what the final number was. In the past, every team I’ve ever been part of, it was come in and kind of quarantine them and everything. I don’t think that works anymore. We’re doing everything we can to keep guys healthy.”
Even before the outbreak of the Coronavirus globally, the Reds already had signs posted around their Spring Training complex, telling players not to come in if they were sick. The signs also strongly encouraged everybody to be extra vigilant about hand washing.
Last weekend, new Cubs manager and former Reds player David Ross missed his team’s first three games with the flu because he was told by medical staff to stay home. Ross had to receive fluids in the hospital on Sunday. Bench coach Andy Green managed in the interim, before Ross returned on Tuesday.
DeSclafani strong in first start
Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani had a perfect two-inning start in his spring debut during a 10-1 win over the A’s on Friday. DeSclafani retired all six batters he faced and struck out two.
“I think the biggest thing for me was getting through two, being healthy,” DeSclafani said. “I’m never taking that for granted. I really just wanted to see some velo today. I felt like it was there.”
DeSclafani, who turns 30 on April 18, enjoyed a fully healthy season in 2019, something he hadn’t had since ’15. In 31 starts, he was 9-9 with a 3.89 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 166 2/3 innings.
Over his last eight starts, DeSclafani finished strong, with a 2.39 ERA.
“He was really sharp, kind of a continuation of the end of last season,” Bell said. “You never know what to expect the first time out, but it was nice to see Disco settle in that quick in Spring Training and continue to pitch with confidence.”
• Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas was also scratched from Friday’s lineup to be with his wife, who was about to give birth.
• Outfielder Jesse Winker returned to the lineup Friday as the designated hitter and went 1-for-4 with a single. Also encouraging was when Winker ripped a hard line drive for an out to begin the bottom of the first inning.
On Sunday vs. the White Sox during his first plate appearance of spring, Winker was hit on the left wrist by a pitch and had a significant contusion. X-rays were negative for a fracture.
• Courtesy of The Cincinnati Reds.com