The Cincinnati Reds need someone to start on Tuesday in place of injured starting pitcher Johnny Cueto. Pedro Villarreal, who made the emergency start on Wednesday after Cueto was scratched hours before the first pitch, was sent down to Triple-A, which means the Reds will need someone else to step up. All signs point to Tony Cingrani to fill in for Cueto once again.
“He’s the likely choice,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said, according to Reds.com. “I just can’t confirm or deny. It’s too early.”
Cingrani took Cueto’s spot in the rotation when the veteran missed over a month (April 15 to May 19) with lat and oblique issues. In six starts, Cingrani posted a 2-0 record with a 3.27 earned run average and 41 strikeouts in 33 innings.
What the 23-year-old left-hander has done in the majors is impressive, especially since he does not have a lot of experience going up against Major League hitters. However, when one takes a look at his numbers in the minors, it is no wonder why he has so much success.
Cingrani is 3-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings in Triple-A this season. In 45 career games (44 starts) in the minors, he is 16-6 with a 1.65 ERA.
Cueto dominated in his last outing in which he allowed just one hit and struck out six batters in a 6-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was reported that he began feeling discomfort in his back during the contest, but Cincinnati did not believe the injury to be serious. Obviously, the pain was too much to overcome last week as the right-hander was unable to take the mound against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. Cueto will have to spend time on the 15-day disabled list in order to give his back some rest.