As if the Cincinnati Reds did not have enough stellar pitching as it is, the pressure will seemingly mount as the season goes on for pitchers who don’t live up to their expectations in the 2013 season.
Reds’ prospect Tony Cingrani was a kid that got an invitation to big league camp this year and although there was a small chance he would make it out of spring training to the big leagues, he did what he could in the one start he made during spring training to make a case for himself.
After being reassigned to Triple-A Louisville, Cingrani was scheduled to pitch on Thursday night in the Louisville Bats’ home opener against the Toledo Mud Hens. While the Bats secured a victory in walk-off fashion much like the Reds did Wednesday, Cingrani turned a lot of heads.
Cingrani was the man of the hour Thursday night when he grabbed the attention of Reds and Bats’ fans when pitched six innings of 14 strikeout, one walk, no runs and zero hits. He was pulled after the sixth inning, where he left off at 84 pitches (55 strikes). The 14 strikeout performance was one short of the club record set by Ken Hill in 1990.
If Cingrani pitches like he does the rest of the year in Louisville like he did tonight or something close to it, then he is definitely going to make it difficult for the Reds to keep him down in the minor leagues. If you go through his minor league career, you will find that Cingrani has absolutely dominated the opposing hitters at the Single and Double-A level– and has the chance to do so at the Triple-A level.
My guess is if a pitcher not named Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo struggle this season and Cingrani continues his success in the minor leagues, he will have to start looking for apartments in the Cincinnati area.
Follow Brad Stiene on Twitter @bs_rant1