Fantasy Baseball: The Tony Cingrani Dilemma

Steve Mitchell – USA Today Sports

Tony Cingrani is pitching so well that he is causing a problem for both fantasy managers and the Cincinnati Reds. What should they do with him?  This is a good problem to have.

The 23-year old pitcher has started three games filling in while Johnny Cueto recovers from an injury.  In his first start he struck out eight, in his second he struck out nine, and now today in his third start he struck out 11.  He has won two games and accumulated an ERA of 1.50.  Prior to being called up, Cingrani had started three games in AAA this season where he had struck out 26 in 14 innings and had not allowed an earned run.

His 2012 season was split between A and AA.  His record was 10-4 while  his ERA was 1.73 and he had a K/9 of  10.6

So clearly Cingrani has talent, but what happens when Cueto returns to the lineup?  Does he get sent back down to AAA so he can get his regular starts or is there someone he would replace in the Reds’ starting rotation?  You’d have to think that their starts this season have secured the jobs of Mat Latos and Homer BaileyBronson Arroyo’s salary exceeds $16M, so he won’t be going anywhere.  That leaves Mike Leake, who might be vulnerable with his 4.34 ERA since he lasted only three innings in his last outing.

So what should a fantasy manager do with Cingrani?  Should you try to trade him now while the hype is at its peak or do just hold on, enjoy the ride and wait and see what happens when Cueto returns?  I own Cingrani in one fantasy league and I’m going to just keep putting him in the lineup.   Even though I have to dislodge an RP for a day since he does not yet have SP eligibility, he is certainly worth it.  If someone wants to blow me away with an offer I can’t refuse, I’ll consider it.  But for now, I’ll just enjoy the ride.

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