Tony Cingrani came into the 2013 season with some questions on his resume, but by the end of the year those were all but erased as he went from dominating the minor leagues to dominating the Major Leagues.

The left handed starter began the year in about the best way that you could possibly imagine as he threw 6 hitless innings with just 1 walk and struck out 14 batters against Toledo on the 4th of April for the Louisville Bats. During this game Cingrani began showing a new pitch, a curveball, in place of his slider that he seemed to drop from his repertoire. In his next outing against the Columbus Clippers Cingrani again was dominant as he fired 6.1 shutout innings with a walk and 7 strikeouts. On the 14th he threw just 2 innings for Louisville in the case that the Reds needed him for their next spot. Those two innings were hitless with 5 strikeouts. His next appearance would come in the big leagues with the Reds against the Miami Marlins and stud rookie starting pitcher Jose Fernandez. Cingrani was strong in his debut as he allowed a run over 5 innings with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts. In his next game he faced the Cubs and allowed 2 runs in 7 innings without a walk and 9 strikeouts. His final start of the month was his best of his short Major League career as he fired 6.1 shutout innings with just 1 walk and 11 strikeouts against the Nationals. Cingrani finished the month splitting his time between AAA and MLB with a 0.83 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 32.2 innings with 6 walks and 54 strikeouts.

May got off to a rough start as Cingrani struggled in his first three starts of the month as he allowed 9 runs in 15 innings to the Cubs, Brewers and Phillies. Cingrani was sent back to Louisville after the start against the Phillies as Johnny Cueto was ready to come off of the disabled list. While Cingrani fired 5 shutout innings against Pawtucket on the 23rd he walked 4 batters in the game as he struggled to control the strikezone. In the final start of the month against Columbus the lefty allowed a run in 5.1 innings with 5 walks and 9 strikeouts as he again struggled with his control. He would finish up the month of May, again split between AAA and MLB with a 3.55 ERA in 25.1 innings with a 1.26 WHIP to go with 14 walks and 27 strikeouts.

June began with a solid start against Toledo where Cingrani allowed 3 runs in 7 innings with 9 strikeouts. His next game would come in the big leagues against the Cubs where he allowed 2 runs over 7 innings with a walk and 5 strikeouts. After not pitching for 6 days, the left hander finds himself in the bullpen. He would throw 3.1 innings over the span of 4 games On the 28th Cingrani came on in relief of Johnny Cueto who had re-injured himself. Cingrani struggled mightily in the game as he threw 4 innings on just one day of rest and walked 6 batters with 3 strikeouts. He would finish June with a 3.80 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 21.1 innings between AAA and MLB to go along with 8 walks and 25 strikeouts.

The month of July began with a start against the Giants where he allowed 2 runs in 5.2 innings with 4 walks and 5 strikeouts as he struggled with his control. On the 9th against the Brewers Cingrani would strike out 10 batters with just 2 walks in 7 innings where he allowed 2 runs. While he only allowed 1 earned run against the Braves on the 14th he struggled to get through the 5th inning and only lasted 4.1 innings. Nine days later he allowed 2 runs in 7 innings against the Giants but he walked 3 batters with just 2 strikeouts. His final start of the month was outstanding as he would allow the Dodgers just 2 baserunners on a hit and a walk with 11 strikeouts over 7 innings. He would finish July with a 2.03 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 13 walks and 33 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched.

August began with some slight struggles against the Cardinals as Cingrani allowed 3 runs over 5 innings where he walked 5 batters and struck out 7. On the 10th against the Padres he was charged with 2 unearned runs in 5 innings with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. On the 15th against the Brewers Cingrani allowed 1 run in 6.1 innings with a walk and 9 strikeouts.  On the 20th the left hander would make his last start of the month as he allowed a run in 3.2 innings against the Diamondbacks before tweaking something in his back. He would finish out August with a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings with 9 walks and 20 strikeouts with a 1.05 WHIP.

Cingrani would make his next start on the 5th of September against the Cardinals where he allowed 2 runs in 3 walks and 7 strikeouts over 5.1 innings. On the 10th he started against the Cubs and lasted just 1.2 innings before undergoing back spasms . He wouldn’t make another appearance on the year.

Season Stats

Team W L ERA IP H HR BB K WHIP K/BB
Louisville 3 0 1.15 31.1 14 1 11 49 0.80 4.5
Cincinnati 7 4 2.92 104.2 72 14 43 120 1.10 2.8

Overall Thoughts

Tony Cingrani made big strides with his breaking ball in 2013. At first he abandoned his slider for a curveball, but he began working in a slider as the season progressed to give him four pitches to work with. The left hander was dominating at both Louisville and Cincinnati. His walk rate was a little high, but his elite strikeout rate made up for the walks. I still believe he should work in more offspeed stuff despite a dominant fastball, but until hitters force that matter he may not need to. While there were some concerns coming into the year about his ability to remain a starter, but it appears that he answered all of those doubts.

15 Responses

  1. Doug Gray

    Something came up and I am going to have to push the State of the Farm series until later in the week. I didn’t have time to finish it up for this week just yet.

  2. MK

    I guess the only concern that still remains for me is health. He is an awful young man to have recurring back issues. Many players with similar a similar recurring injury at such a young age continue to have the issue throughout their careers. It might make the bullpen, and shorter outings, mandatory for him.

  3. terry m

    Modern medicine can do wonders especially when your young and not an old f— like myself. Think he stays as a starter until he can’t..

  4. sultan of swaff

    Cingrani is exhibit A for why we need to start Chapman. Even if both of them only gave us 6 innings per start, I’d take that if they came with the high K totals. Of course I believe both guys have the physical tools and ability to be more than that. As for Cingrani’s back, I don’t put much stock into it being a recurring issue. It’s hard to find enough time in-season to get it quieted down……sort of like a hamstring injury.

    Ultimately, for the Reds to take that step up to elite status like the Cardinals, it will have to come from the pitching staff. There’s simply more room for growth there than with the offense, especially after losing Choo.

  5. fromcubawithluv

    dude threw 136 innings and only gave up 86 hits.

    I am no expert, but I think that is really good. and 169 Ks… that’s twice as many Ks as hits given up.

    • stock

      I agree. Cingrani is a stud. He might very well be the best pitcher on the staff. And with a staff that includes Latos and Cueto that is a huge compliment.

      • Doug Gray

        I think the thing that holds him back from being in the conversation is innings. Bailey and Latos have a combined 800+ innings over the last two seasons as they both topped 200 in each year. Until Cingrani goes out and gets 185+, it is tough to put him there.

        But man can he go out and dominate at times. His control was better in 2012 from what I watched than in 2013. He was throwing softer then too, so maybe that is part of the reason. But, if he can find the 2012 fastball command while keeping the 2013 velocity…. watch out. He is already really good, but if you add command he will be unhittable.

  6. Kevin Davis

    Doug,

    How come Ryan LaMarre is not getting much playing time in AFL? Is he hurt?

    • Doug Gray

      The AFL used to have what they called a “taxi-squad” where two guys per organization were only eligible to play in, I believe, two games a week. LaMarre may have been on that if it still exists. With that said,he left his last game early, so he could also be injured. I will see what I can find out.

  7. chi redsfan

    “”I think he’d be unbelievable,” Bronson Arroyo said when asked about Price as manager. “He’s as organized as anyone in the game, he holds people as accountable as well as anyone I’ve seen. He doesn’t buy into stereotypical things in the game, things that other people buy into that I don’t feel are relevant. Price looks at evidence. He’s a freaking smart guy, he makes his decision on reasonable evidence. Sometimes in baseball we go by hunches, what someone else said or they way things have gone in the past. He doesn’t do that.”

    Wonder who he had in mind…

    • Kevin

      This is AWESOME. Evidence-based strategy. What a concept. Hello, 21st century!

  8. Beard

    I, for one, am please with the signing of Bryan Price as manager. I would be interested to see a RML poll of readers/posters to see what everyone else thinks. Hopefully the new managerial hiring gets a post/thread of its own tomorrow.

    • Doug Gray

      I will post my thoughts on things tomorrow afternoon after the press conference. Initially, my thoughts are “awesome hire”, but I will expand on all of that with a bunch of words tomorrow afternoon.

    • Alan Horn

      He was my choice also Beard. For no other reason than what he has done with the pitching. He is gone if he is not named manager. Now we just need to add a couple of players that can hit and get someone to coach the hitting in general. Who he names as bench coach and hitting coach will be critical.