The Cincinnati Reds‘ decision to let reliever Sean Marshall mercifully volunteer for the disabled list and move Tony Cingrani from the rotation to the bullpen is a decision that will ultimately hinder Cingrani’s development as a starter and cost Cingrani money to boot.
Cingrani and the Reds would have been best served to let Cingrani continue to develop as a starting pitcher in the minors instead of making a move that reeks of the desperation only a team headed headlong for a losing season can justify.
But since the Reds did make the choice to shift Cingrani to the bullpen, where was he after starter Mat Latos left Saturday’s game ahead 1-0 against the Milwaukee Brewers? Instead of inserting Cingrani (whose turn it would have been to pitch in the rotation) for his 2014 debut as a reliever to start the seventh inning, Reds rookie manager Bryan Price opted instead for the two-headed monster of Logan Ondrusek and Manny Parra, followed by the right-handed disaster known as J.J. Hoover.
As a result of the bullpen decision by Price, the Reds squandered Latos’ sparkling start and cost the team yet another win.
It begs the simple question, where was Cingrani?
Even as underwhelming as Cingrani has been as a starter in 2014, what were the Reds waiting for to use him? Will he be a middle reliever who comes in only when the Reds are far behind early? Or is he going to be the primary left-handed set-up reliever?
The 4-2 Reds’ loss to the Brewers was the perfect situation for Price to insert Cingrani. He could have stayed fresh and might not have been perfect, but the worst-case scenario is that he would have been just as ineffective as the trio of Ondrusek, Parra and Hoover, who collectively coughed up four runs in two innings of botched work.
As a result of Price’s bullpen decision, the three-game winning streak that the Reds had mustered came to an end and put the team right back where they are showing they belong — at the bottom of the NL Central.