Reds shut down Tony Cingrani with a shoulder injury

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Reds left-hander Tony Cingrani struggled last night against the Cubs, lasting just four innings, and now he’s headed to the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis.

Cingrani picked up right where he left off after an excellent rookie season, posting a 3.34 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 32 innings, but he’s struggled with control and his fastball velocity has been down slightly. And unfortunately he’s also hurt again, like last season, when he missed time with a back injury.

For now the Reds have called up reliever Curtis Partch from Triple-A to replace Cingrani on the roster, but they may eventually add a starter to take his spot in the rotation and veteran left-hander Jeff Francis seems like a good bet. Off days in the upcoming schedule would allow them to go with a four-man rotation for a while, though.

Here’s hoping Cingrani’s shoulder problems prove minor, because he’s one of the best young pitchers in baseball and we’ve certainly seen enough of those guys go down with major injuries already this year.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.