Tony Cingrani pulled from start with more back problems

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Tony Cingrani spent 11 days on the disabled list from late August to early September because of a lower back strain. And the issue won’t go away.

According to beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the rookie left-hander was lifted from his start Tuesday night against the Cubs with back spasms. Cingrani surrendered two earned runs on three hits and a walk over just 1 2/3 innings.

The Reds had been planning to use right-hander Johnny Cueto as a long reliever upon his expected mid-September return from a severe right lat strain, but if Cingrani’s back problems don’t fade Cueto may have to be pushed back into the starting rotation.

Cingarni, 24, owns a 2.92 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 120/43 K/BB ratio in 104 2/3 frames this season.

Dominic Smith dealing with a strained right quad

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Mets first baseman Dominic Smith is dealing with a strained right quad and is set to undergo an MRI on Monday, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Smith, 22, did not play in the Mets’ first Grapefruit League game after showing up late. He played on Saturday, scoring two runs on a single and a hit-by-pitch in two plate appearances. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup.

The Mets signed Adrian Gonzalez during the offseason, which makes him the front runner for the starting job at first base. Smith needs to have a strong spring showing to make the 25-man roster but so far, it hasn’t gone well.

Smith made his major league debut in August last year and ended up playing in 49 games. He struggled to a .198/.262/.395 slash line with nine home runs and 26 RBI in 183 plate appearances.