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Report: Reds' Nick Castellanos Loses Appeal for Suspension from Cardinals Fight

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2021

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina, center back, exchanges words with Cincinnati Reds' Nick Castellanos during a baseball game in Cincinnati, Saturday, April 3, 2021. The Reds won 9-6. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Aaron Doster/Associated Press

MLB has upheld its two-game suspension of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. 

Passan explained the circumstances of the initial suspension, which stemmed from an incident against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 3:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

Castellanos had gotten hit by a pitch earlier in the inning, scored on a wild pitch and yelled and flexed upon scoring a run. The benches cleared — and Castellanos wound up wearing the discipline for the incident. MLB cited health-and-safety protocols as rationale for suspension.

Even though Castellanos walked away from the situation once benches cleared, the league announced he would be suspended "for his aggressive actions and for instigating" the brawl.

"I am disappointed that Nick was suspended even though he did not initiate physical contact," Reds manager David Bell said when the suspension was announced. "I am hopeful that when baseball is played with emotion, the players will be protected from dangerous and unnecessary retaliation."

Cardinals pitcher Jake Woodford initially hit Castellanos with a pitch and escalated the situation after the run scored. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was also involved and grabbed the Reds player before benches cleared. However, neither Woodford nor Molina was suspended.

Castellanos is in the midst of a strong 2021 season to this point, hitting .295 with five home runs and 10 RBI in 15 games. His current .623 slugging percentage ranks 16th in the majors and would easily be the best of his career, although it's a small sample size.

His play has helped the Reds build a 9-6 record for first place in the NL Central.

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Cincinnati will miss his production in the lineup over the next two games, but it can create an opening in the lineup for both Tyler Naquin and Jesse Winker at the corner outfield spots.

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