Major League Baseball denied Nick Castellanos’ appeal of his two-game suspension, so the Cincinnati outfielder will serve his suspension when the Reds play the Diamondbacks on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Castellanos was suspended for his part in a bench-clearing incident between the Reds and Cardinals earlier this month, when Castellanos scored a run and then flexed over Cards pitcher Jake Woodford, who was covering the plate.  Castellanos was on base in the first place due to a hit-by-pitch that drew a heated response from the slugger, and his reaction to Woodford at home plate led to both benches emptying.

Castellanos was the only player issued a suspension, which was a little surprising given the number of players involved in the fracas.  Fines were issued to Castellanos and five other players (Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, Jordan Hicks, Yadier Molina, and Nolan Arenado).

More from the National League…

  • Ke’Bryan Hayes’ return to the Pirates’ lineup could help address the team’s problem in center field, as Dustin Fowler and Anthony Alford have both gotten off to dreadful starts to the season.  As noted by Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Bryan Reynolds made a mid-game shift to center field yesterday, marking Reynolds’ first appearances in center all season.  Reynolds has been solid (+3 Defensive Runs Saved, +3.4 UZR/150) over 322 1/3 career innings as a center fielder, though the Bucs have preferred to use him in left, believing it to be his more optimal defensive position.  Moving Reynolds to center field, however, would allow Pittsburgh to give the red-hot Phillip Evans some time as a left fielder once Hayes reclaims third base.
  • Thanks to four upcoming off-days in the schedule, the Nationals may not need a fifth starter until May 8, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post writes.  That counts as good news for a team that has already dealt with several injuries and COVID-related absences to starting pitchers this season.  It isn’t yet clear when Jon Lester will make his season debut, but if he still needs a couple more weeks, the Nats could ride with their current starting four of Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, Joe Ross, and Erick Fedde, with Austin Voth and Paolo Espino available as depth options if a spot start is required or if Washington does decide to go with a five-man rotation.  (It’s also worth noting that the Nationals have been exploring a possible reunion with Anibal Sanchez, but those plans may be on hold since Sanchez cut his finger while pitching at a recent showcase for scouts.)  D.C. won’t have its full rotation back until Stephen Strasburg returns from the injured list, and Corbin is another concern, as the southpaw was crushed in his first two outings of the season.