CINCINNATI — Nick Castellanos is a man of very few words, but during games, he’s loud.
“I ain’t out here to talk about me," Castellanos said. "I don’t know if I'm a leader, but I damn sure ain’t a follower.”
Castellanos hit .435 with 4 home runs and 7 RBI in the Reds' first seven games. His productive output helped propel the team to a 6-1 start this season.
“What he brings to the table is so much more than just offense," Reds third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "His game is rubbing off on a lot of us for sure.”
Castellanos ignited a bench-clearing incident during a game against the Cardinals on April 4. After a slide home safe, he got up and yelled toward a Cardinals pitcher. He was ejected for the showing, but his emotion during the first two series was contagious to the Reds.
“I think he just does such a good job of competing,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He's tough; he's definitely not afraid of anything. That's part of why he's such a good player, that toughness and that desire to be in that situation where he has a chance to help his team win a game. He loves it.”
Castellanos was suspended for his role in the incident and is currently appealing the suspension.
“The more secure I become as a man, the more of my raw emotions come out on the field," Castellanos said. "I'm not out here to disrespect nobody or whatever, but I want to win, yo. I've lost my whole career.”
His teammates have his back every step of the way.
“The energy he's bringing, oh my gosh, it's a domino effect," Reds pitcher Amir Garrett said. "Everybody's going to feed into it. I want everybody to think that the Cincinnati Reds are like the most cockiest team ever. We’re some bat-flippin’, show-boatin’ son-of-a-guns."