Should the Reds be concerned with the control of Tony Cingrani? Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Cincinnati Reds be worried about Tony Cingrani?

Last season Tony Cingrani came out firing bullets and never stopped as he posted a 2.92 ERA in 104.2 innings pitched with 43 walks and 120 strikeouts. When he took the mound he was dominant. His walk rate was a little higher than you would like it at 3.7 walks per nine innings pitched, but he made up for it with the highest strikeout rate per nine innings in the National League (10.32).

So far this spring the left hander has an ERA of 6.23 over 17.1 innings pitched. He has walked 10 batters and has 17 strikeouts. The strikeouts are on target, but his walk rate has gone from 3.7 per nine innings pitched in 2013 to 5.2 walks per nine innings this spring. That is an increase of 1.5 walks, or a 41% increase from the 2013 regular season.

There may not be a reason for a concern as perhaps he has been working on things during the games. Last season he used his fastball more than any other National League starting pitcher, so perhaps he has been using his breaking balls and change up more often and it has resulted in some extra walks that we may not see in the regular season as he goes back to relying on his fastball more.

However if Cingrani is simply having struggles with control then the Reds need to be concerned. There were times last season when he struggled to get through five innings pitched because of his high pitch counts. Taking over for Bronson Arroyo in the rotation could leave the Cincinnati Reds in a tough spot if the left hander is consistently struggling with his control and running up high pitch counts before he is reaching six or seven innings.

Tags: Cincinnati Reds Tony Cingrani

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