Sept 15, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Tony Cingrani (52) throws during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Tony Cingrani Saga: Mike Leake Should Stay


It is fascinating to watch and even participate in fan forums, especially when it involves someone replacing an injured comrade.

The latest for us here in Redland, is actually two-fold. What to do with Tony Cincingrani (sic) and who leaves town when Chris Heisey returns to the team.

For the purpose of this piece I want to focus on the pitching.

Cincingrani has proven beyond a doubt that he is a major league pitcher. There should be no debate about that. The debate is officially opened when you say what should happen to him when Reds’ ace, Johnny Cueto comes back from rehab assignments.

I have read everything, including but not limited to using a six-man rotation; sending Mike Leake to Louisville (he does have options); and even converting Leake to a shortstop where he played when he wasn’t pitching at Arizona State.

Cincingrani started with a bang on April 18 against the Miami Marlins. He pitched five innings, picked up the win, allowed only five hits, an earned run, three walks and eight strikeouts. Not a quality start, but a very good start, no question about that. Really there were only a couple of downsides to that performance. The first was that it took the rookie 102 pitches to survive five innings. The second is that he was taken yard by Justin Ruggiano. That was a precursor of things to come.

Of his first five MLB starts, he can boast only two quality starts. He is throwing an average of 17.6 pitches per inning. Even with the rough patch Leake has gone through this year, he is just averaging 15.9. Bronson Arroyo gets by on 13.7 P/I. I know that Cincingrani is a strikeout artist and Arroyo isn’t.

Cincingrani is throwing 84 percent heat at an average temperature of 92.8. Leake uses six different pitches and mixes them up pretty well. He throws a fourseam fast ball 4 percent of the time at 91 mph, a sinker 46 percent at 90 mph and a cutter 19 percent at 88 percent. The point I am trying to make here is that when batters catch up to Cincingrani’s fast ball, it probably goes about 410 feet. And in the biggies, they will catch up eventually.

Some have said Cincingrani should stay and go to the bullpen. That is no good. If that happens, somebody else (Ondrusek ?) would have to be demoted. You already have at least two long reliever/spot starters in Sam LeCure and Alfredo Simon, I don’t see a need for another one.

Leake was a number one pick in the 2009 draft and made the parent squad immediately. Cincingrani was the third pick in 2011. Leake is already in his fourth season in MLB and has proven himself to be a fifth starter that most teams would be happy to have. Cingrani will clearly be that himself, but just not yet. He needs more time in the lower level to hone his craft and perhaps learn another pitch or two.

He wasn’t called up to take someone’s job, only to fill a vacancy which he did in a most admirable fashion. Good on ya Tony, seriously.

I mean it isn’t like Lou Gehrig filling in for Wally Pipp and never looking back.
Things need to be placed in proper perspective. If someone else goes down, he comes right back up and fills in again.

When Cueto returns, what should happen?

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Tags: Cincinnati Reds Mike Leake MLB Tony Cingrani

  • Guest

    You spelled his name Cincingrani more than you spelled it the correct way, CINGRANI. Don’t you guys proof read before you post it to the public or what?!

  • Guest

    You spelled his name Cincingrani more than you spelled it the correct way, CINGRANI. I know the kid plays for the CINCINnati Reds but common! Don’t you guys proofread before you post your material to the public?!

  • Josh Bresser

    As good as Cingrani started off, it’s been no secret that he needs to develop and use some more off speed pitches. Hitters are figuring out his fastball, and his results over the past 2 games haven’t been great. Send Cingrani to Louisville, get him more acquainted with his slider, change, and curve, then use him next year to replace Arroyo.

    • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

      Yeah because there is no way Arroyo will come for what the Reds would be able to pay him.

  • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

    If you keep Tony up here everyone will be waiting for the high hard one and putting it in the upper deck. He needs to mature and develop a pitch or two.

    I disagree that the fifth starter is not essential. If so, then why not use LeCure or Simon to be the fifth guy. They are both tried by fire.

    We will just have to agree to disagree on this one my friend. Thanks for the comments.

  • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

    I will answer this once for all three of your anonymous posts. If you read the article you saw that the first time I used Cincingrani I placed a (sic) which means that you are reading it the way I wrote it. I thought it was a cool play on words. Did you mean to say “come on man”, instead of calling me a common man? I do proofread my stuff and if I wasn’t happy with it I would not have published it.

    You guys who write ridiculous insults instead of commenting on the integrity of an article are a piece of work.

    Amateur? You mean I’m not getting paid for this?

    • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

      Just as Cliff stated, it was three. The two comments from “Guest” were you as well. Just reading those comments alone make it extremely obvious. Don’t think I’m the only person that can see that as the case. In case you’re wondering, I do have more proof other than this simple deduction.

    • JD Rentz

      The *book* definition of a “Troll”:
      “Someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”

      Have a nice day to you as well, Frank.

  • http://twitter.com/JordanBarhorst Jordan Barhorst

    I love comments on our articles here at the site, even from people I disagree with, if they foster a good conversation. This, however, is the perfect example of flaming. Please don’t come back to our blog if our writing bothers you this much.