No one wanted to see this. Reds pitcher Tony Cingrani had to leave last night’s game after 3.2 innings due to an apparent back strain. Considering that Cingrani is currently filling the void left by the disabling of Johnny Cueto, this was a sight not for the light of heart.
Cingrani states he will make his next start which is Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers, but if you watch the video from part of his postgame interview, you have to wonder. He stated that the injury occurred “a while back” and that in last night’s game the injury “finally just came about and didn’t feel very good”.
Not sure four days will get things right and we don’t want to mess with a back injury, do we?
Are the Reds now in a dilemma? If not Cingrani, then who?
In order for the team to potentially have Greg Reynolds or Pedro Villarreal be recalled from Louisville to make that Sunday start, Cingrani would need to be placed on the disabled list or a move involving a position player would need to take place. Reynolds is the more likely option as he started last night as well.
If the team decided that Cingrani would need to miss only one start, there are pitchers in the Reds bullpen that have MLB starter’s experience: Sam LeCure, Alfredo Simon and Manny Parra. J.J. Hoover was a starter in the Braves organization prior to last season. LeCure hasn’t started since 2011, Simon hasn’t since the same year, but he did go 2.1 innings last night. Parra had his last start in 2010 as a Brewer, but he is the least likely here since he’s the only other lefty in the bullpen other than Aroldis Chapman.
Another route could be for Dusty to juggle his rotation among the four healthy starters as a means to cover that one Cingrani outing. This means that the start on Sunday could fall into the lap of Mike Leake, today’s starter. It doesn’t help matters that the Reds do not have another day off until the 29th of the month which is a little over a week away.
Recap of the options here…
1. Bring up Reynolds and have a position player optioned, leaving you a man short on the bench.
2. Have Simon or LeCure take the ball Sunday and leave the bullpen a man short.
3. Juggle the starting rotation for a game or two.
4. Cingrani makes his normally scheduled start.
Of course, the final option is provided that the medical report on Cingrani is clear and he’s good to go. With that, you do stand the risk of aggravating the injury even more. Ugh…
Are you wincing at these options? Is there any other?