Could Nick Castellanos be the Cubs’ next big acquisition?
Castellanos began Sunday hitting .377 with a .451 on-base percentage and .639 slugging percentage against lefties. The Cubs have struggled against southpaws, making him a potentially strong fit.
Could Tigers outfielder Nick Castellanos be the Cubs’ next big acquisition?
The Detroit News reported Sunday that the Cubs are interested in Castellanos, who could help them handle left-handed pitching. Castellanos is owed around $4 million and will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Castellanos began Sunday hitting .377 with a .451 on-base percentage and .639 slugging percentage against lefties. The Cubs have struggled against southpaws, batting .243 with a .331 on-base percentage entering Sunday.
But Castellanos would not help the Cubs’ defense. After starting his career primarily at third, Castellanos was moved to the outfield. He has never been a plus with the glove.
Playing Castellanos in right field against lefties could mean more time for Jason Heyward in center, eating into Albert Almora’s playing time. Almora, though, is hitting .207 against lefties and is one of a handful of righties who haven’t hit well against southpaws.
Adding Castellanos would be another sizable trade by Theo Epstein and the front office, which hasn’t hesitated to go big before the deadline.
“I’m sure they’re doing their due diligence on everything,” Anthony Rizzo said. “We’ll see what happens there. They’re very smart and know what they’re doing. We never doubt them here.”
Kyle Hendricks said the players’ focus isn’t on the looming deadline or who could be joining them.
“We love our group and we know we’re fine as is, but if something comes, then we’ll embrace him, he’ll fit right into the environment and we’ll look forward to it,” he said. “But for now, our focus is just on us and going to San Francisco and getting Game 1.”
Carl Edwards Jr. made his first appearance since June 9.
It didn’t go well.
Edwards replaced Kyle Ryan with two on and two out in the ninth inning. He walked Luis Urias, hit Greg Garcia to send home one run, then gave up a two-run single to Fernando Tatis Jr. to make it 5-1.
Joe Maddon said Edwards was guiding his pitches and just has to relax.
“I wanted him in there right there to get one out,” Maddon said. “It was a good setup for him to get re-indoctrinated, get one out, walk off the mound, feel good about himself, and it didn’t happen.”
Addison Russell didn’t play one day after struggling on the bases and in the field. He was doubled off second and thrown out at home, and he lost a pop-up in the sun and let another drop behind him.
“There was other components that we need to make sure that he gets back on top of his game with,” Maddon said. “His defense for me, it’s still among the best. He had a tough day. There’s parts of it that was … the physical mistakes I never worry about. We’ve just got to make sure the mental mistakes are curbed.”
Maddon said it was “possible” that Willson Contreras (strained right foot) could be activated from the injured list when he’s eligible Wednesday. Maddon said Cole Hamels (strained left oblique) is doing well but didn’t reveal his next step.