Tony Cingrani

Reds say Tony Cingrani’s post-demotion shoulder injury is “news to us”

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Left-hander Tony Cingrani, who was demoted to the minors by the Reds last week, has now been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with a strained shoulder.

Instances where a player is demoted to the minors and almost immediately placed on the disabled list there often raise eyebrows because the player will not accumulate MLB service or get paid an MLB salary while on the DL in the minors. Occasionally the moves are rescinded so that issue can be addressed, which is what happened with Chris Withrow and the Dodgers recently.

Cingrani was previously on the Reds’ disabled list for two weeks in May with shoulder tendinitis and also has dealt with back problems since last year, which helps explain how he went from one of the best pitchers in the league as a rookie in 2013 to going 2-8 with a 4.55 ERA before a demotion to Triple-A this year.

Reds manager Bryan Price told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that the latest shoulder problems were “news to us when he got down there” and Sheldon writes that “Cingrani hasn’t always been forthcoming with injuries.”

Mets tell Jay Bruce they plan on having him start in right field

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Jay Bruce #19 of the New York Mets reacts after striking out in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 22, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.

With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.

Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.

Angels sign Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Eric Young Jr. #4 of the Atlanta Braves slides safely into third base on a RBI triple in the fifth inning against the New York Mets during the Braves opening series at Turner Field on April 11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Andrelton Simmons #19 scored on the triple.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.

The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.