Reds calling up top prospect Tony Cingrani

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Cincinnati announced that stud pitching prospect Tony Cingrani will be called up from Triple-A to replace the injured Johnny Cueto in the rotation beginning Thursday against the Marlins.

Cingrani made his MLB debut with three relief appearances last September and the 23-year-old left-hander ranked among the top 100 prospects by both Baseball America and MLB.com heading into this season.

He was off to an incredible start at Triple-A, throwing 14.1 shutout innings with a 26/2 K/BB ratio while allowing just three hits, and now Cingrani gets to face another Triple-A-caliber lineup for his first big-league start. Cueto is expected to miss at least 3-4 starts with a strained lat muscle.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.