Johnny Cueto Returns To Cincinnati Reds’ Land Of The Wounded

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the big leagues, Tony Cingrani Pedro Villarreal.

Too bad it had to come at the expense of Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto, that’s all. The right-hander was only back for what was seemingly a brilliant flash (three starts, 1.80/0.75 ERA over 20 IP) before being scratched for Wednesday’s start and subsequently being placed on the DL.

As for Villareal, I think it’s fair to say that the emergency starter from Triple-A Louisville won’t be around for very long, after he gave up six runs on 10 hits (three homers) and a pair of walks over just 3.2 innings in a blowout loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Reds fans should have little reason to fret, of course, because all this means is the impending return of Tony Cingrani.

The 23-year-old was not available to the team on short notice since he just worked on June 2, but with winning ball games being something of a priority for Cincinnati, it’s likely that they’ll go with the youngster in the next available opportunity.

Cingrani had just about kicked down the door to the bigs in the 33 innings that he was up, flashing a fantastic 11.18 K/9 in the process — the Reds shouldn’t be losing too much production on the mound there.

That said, he might not want to get too comfortable in Cincinnati. According to Jeremy Warnemuende of MLB.com, the team does not expect Cueto’s latest trip to the DL to last any longer than the 15-day minimum, and “he’ll continue to throw and train as he usually would between outings”.

So, Cingrani could be in for just a one or two-and-done situation here. As for whether he can be flashy enough to reignite the debate of whether he should stick around … well, that remains to be seen, but Mike Leake won’t have as many reasons to be too worried this time around.

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