Reds’ rookie sensation Tony Cingrani returns to the mound tonight against the Chicago Cubs. Cingrani had been optioned to the Reds’ AAA Affiliate in Louisville when Johnny Cueto returned from the DL for the first time earlier in the season. However, Cueto has landed on the DL again, so the Reds will give the rookie Cingrani another shot.
Cingrani has been incredibly impressive in AAA Louisville this year, going 3-0 with a sparkling 1.15 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 31.1 innings pitched. He was equally impressive early on for the Reds, only allowing 3 runs in his first 3 starts, spanning 18 innings. He also had 28 strikeouts and just 4 walks in that time, including an incredible 11 strikeout performance against the Washington Nationals. However, he struggled a bit down the stretch, allowing 9 runs in his next 3 starts, spanning just 15 innings.
Cingrani relies heavily on his fastball, as he threw it almost exclusively in his first stint with the Reds. 82 percent of his pitches were fastballs, and this is likely what did him in later on. It’s likely that teams started to watch video and read scouting reports of his fastball and started to read his deceptive delivery better after seeing him for the first time.
Cingrani faces off against the Cubs, who he has already faced twice. One start was good- 7 innings, 2 runs good, and the other was not so good, as he went 6 innings and gave up 4 runs. Alfonso Soriano was Tony Cingrani’s personal hell, as he demolished him with 2 2 run home runs.