NEW YORK — The two-game suspension of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos for his role in an on-field brawl during the season’s opening weekend was upheld Monday by Major League Baseball special assistant John McHale Jr.
Castellanos will serve the penalty during the first two games of a three-game series against Arizona that starts Tuesday.
Michael Hill, MLB’s new senior vice president for on-field operations, issued the suspension April 5 and cited Castellanos for “his aggressive actions and for instigating a benches-clearing incident” during a game against St. Louis on April 3. Castellanos did not have to serve the penalty while the appeal was pending.
Castellanos, who homered on opening day and hopped out of the batter’s box before tossing his bat, was hit by a pitch from Cardinals pitcher Jake Woodford in the fourth inning on April 3. Castellanos retrieved the ball and offered to toss it back to Woodford before flipping it out of play.
A wild pitch sent Castellanos scampering home from third and he scored with a headfirst slide for a 7-2 lead, bumping into Woodford, who took the throw from catcher Yadier Molina at the plate.
As Castellanos began walking away, Molina rushed up and tapped him from behind, and the benches and bullpens emptied in a wild scene. Castellanos was ejected.
He said afterward that it was raw emotion and excitement that caused him to yell after scoring and that he wasn’t trying to disrespect Woodford.